Traffic is expected to be heavy from Northland to Otago today as motorists head home after a weekend of good weather.

The Transport Agency is warning that congestion is likely in all the usual hotspots.

The long weekend road toll stood at one last night after an early morning accident south of Auckland.

A motorcyclist was also killed during a street race in Greymouth. However, the death will not be recorded on the official toll as the road was closed to the public at the time.


The Auckland fatality happened when a car collided with a median strip and a truck on the southern motorway, near Pokeno, just after 4.30am yesterday.

Details of the person killed were not available last night. The official holiday road period runs until 6am tomorrow. Last year the Labour Weekend road toll was five, from 94 reported injury crashes.

The motorcyclist killed was taking part in the Greymouth Motorcycle Street Races. He suffered critical injuries after crashing his bike on Herbert St about 11am.

Five people were injured - one critically - in a head-on collision south of Wellington about 11am yesterday. A woman was airlifted to Wellington Hospital with critical injuries.

Holidaymakers returning home are urged to avoid traffic hotspots.

But as people crawl home today they can rejoice in the knowledge they have had the best of the weather for the week.

Traffic is likely to be congested from Northland to Otago. Drivers wanting a smoother run should set out early, says the Transport Agency.

The state highways near Karapiro, Taupiri and Wellsford will be the worst with traffic expected to be heavy for most of the day as people head back to the main cities.


Motorists heading back to Auckland and travelling south on SH1 between Wellsford and Puhoi can expect traffic to build from 10am today and be at its heaviest between 12pm and 7pm, while the northbound lane on SH1 near Takanini will be busy from 12pm to 7pm.

In the north Waikato, SH1 near Taupiri will be busy both ways between 10am and 11am and while the southbound traffic eases, the northbound traffic gets heavier and motorists could be crawling between 12.30pm and 6.30pm. For those heading north along SH1 near Karapiro, similar delays should be expected.

SH29 on the Kaimais is looking slightly less congested with the westbound lane expected to be busy between 10am and 5pm, which is also expected to be the busiest time for traffic heading westbound on SH2 between Paeroa and Tauranga.

It may come as some relief to those heading back to work that the best of the weather has gone with cloud increasing and a few showers expected over the Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and Taupo in the afternoon.