With the sun set to shine for the last day of the long weekend, Surf Life Saving NZ is urging beach-goers to be aware of dangers in the water.

Labour Weekend kicked off the surf life saving patrol season, but beaches have been relatively quiet so far thanks to lacklustre weather.

However, larger crowds are expected tomorrow as the sunshine spreads across the North Island.

Surf Life Saving NZ chief executive Paul Dalton said it was important for people heading to the beach to know the dangers of the sea.


"It's sad because the beach is New Zealand's favourite playground but it can also be extremely dangerous," he said.

"If people can change their 'she'll be right' attitude towards surf safety, so they don't underestimate the risks and overestimate their own abilities, then we will be on our way to helping reduce drowning on our beaches."

Mr Dalton said most drownings occurred at unpatrolled beaches.

Water Safety NZ chief executive Matt Claridge said this year had been disappointing, with 71 drownings compared with 65 this time last year.

Beaches across the country were seemingly calm today, with some even rather empty due to the weather.

Muriwai patrol captain Damian Molloy said there weren't many people at the west coast Auckland beach due to the bad weather.

His advice to swimmers were to "swim together and not as individuals".

Waihi Beach was calm and safe today, patrol captain Ellena Regin said.


"It's been a nice day with small surfs."

Tomorrow will bring sun to most of the North Island, with "plenty of sunshine" in store for Auckland.

However, MetService meteorologist Melissa Roux said Waikato and Northland would be cloudy.

Showers would develop in the central North Island in the afternoon, with possible thunderstorm and hail in eastern Waikato, Coromandel, Taupo and Tauranga.

Although the weather will mostly be fine, motorists are still being urged to take care as they head home from holidays tomorrow.

Two people have died in road crashes so far this weekend -- one fewer than last Labour Weekend.

A man died this morning after being struck by two heavy trucks on State Highway 39 in Waikato.

Police said it appeared the pedestrian was struck by northbound trucks in Pirongia about 2.30am.

The death comes after a 21-year-old Puketutu man was killed when he crashed his motorbike at the intersection of Hutchinson and Morrinsville-Walton roads about 6am on Saturday.

There were 78 reported injury crashes during Labour Weekend last year, resulting in three deaths and 21 serious injuries.

National road policing manager Superintendent Steve Greally said the long weekend wasn't over yet and drivers should take care when returning home from their holiday.

"There's still quite some time to go."

The focus this weekend was for drivers to get to their destination safely, he said.

"We cannot do it alone. Every person on the road needs to make good choices to stay safe and allow for others who do make mistakes."

Police were enforcing a reduced 4km/h speed threshold over the official weekend holiday period, which began at 4pm on Friday and runs until 6am on Tuesday.

Mr Greally said drivers should expect delays coming home tomorrow -- especially on the Auckland motorways and SH1 into Wellington.

"Take regular breaks to reduce frustration," he said.

Mr Greally also urged motorists to not drink and drive.

"Take a taxi if you are drinking. You'll thank yourself in the morning."

Rugby World Cup fans mostly stuck to the police advice after heading to bars this morning.

An Auckland police spokeswoman said early morning pub-goers were "generally well-behaved" and the city had cleared out "pretty soon after the match finished".

She said police ran a number of checkpoints between 10pm and 8am, with eight drivers blowing over the legal alcohol limit.

Four arrests were also made, including for disorderly behaviour, driving while disqualified, driving while suspended and a breach of bail.

The sunshine's here


Monday: 19C. Fine with southwest breezes.
Tuesday: 20C. Fine spells with southwesterlies dying.


Monday: 18C. Fine with light winds.
Tuesday: 18C. Fine spells with southwesterlies dying.


Monday: 18C. Cloudy periods, chance of showers.
Tuesday: 20C. Fine spells. Southwesterlies dying out.


Monday: 16C. Fine, Northwesterlies developing.
Tuesday: 15C. Fine spells, showers developing.


Monday: 17C. Fine, Northwest developing.
Tuesday: 17C. Morning rain, then fine spells.


Monday: 20C. Fine, evening rain.
Tuesday: 10C. Early rain then showers.

Surf Life Saving tips to staying safe this summer at the beach:

1. Learn to swim and set rules for safe play in the water. Always wear appropriate beach attire - clothes are heavy when wet and can pull you down and restrict your movement. Be SunSmart, and know the weather and water conditions before you go.

2. Always pay close attention to children you are supervising in or near water. Swim with others and in areas where surf lifeguards are patrolling and make sure you swim between the flags. Listen to advice from the surf lifeguards

3. Always enter shallow and unknown water feet first and obey all safety signs and warning flags. Don't go swimming after drinking alcohol, or if you are tired or cold - you will be less able to recognise danger and keep yourself safe.

4. Challenge yourself within your physical limits and experience, and never swim or surf alone. Learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting yourself in danger.