Police have sounded a warning for motorists to take care as snow blankets the country's roadways and tragedy struck in Katikati last night, the latest in a string of fatalities.

Five "fine young men" were killed in a horror crash between a car and truck near the Bay of Plenty town last night - bringing the death toll to nine over recent days.

Halani Fine, Koli Vaipulu, Sitiveni Vaipulu, Sione Teulaka, and Samuela Taukatelata died when their car and a truck collided on State Highway 2 last night.

Meanwhile, snowfall warnings are in place for roads in the South Island affected by snowfall. The NZ Transport Agency yesterday issued snow warnings for State Highway 73 over Arthur's and Porters Passes, and for SHs 8, 6 94 and 1, between Dunedin and Waitahi.


Police national road police manager Superintendent Steve Greally is urging motorists across the country to take care.

"Tragically, multiple families are now grieving their loved ones following five separate fatal crashes on our roads since Monday night," Greally said.

Aside from the Katikati crash, there have been fatal crashes in Northland, Tasman, Counties Manakau and Central Districts.

"While the causes of these crashes are still the subject of police investigation, we know that from past experience crashes like this are usually preventable, and to see yet more families left devastated in this way is incredibly sad.

"As far as police is concerned, any death or injury is one too many, and everyone needs to be doing their part to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads," he said.

"And with winter weather well and truly upon us - with yet more bad weather forecast over the coming days - drivers need to be extremely careful and make allowances for the conditions."

Greally advised motorists to allow extra time for their trips and to be aware of other road-users who may not be easily seen, such as cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.

"We want everyone to be safe on our roads this winter, so please take care," Greally said.