A bank sales manager is believed to have been out playing a game searching for hidden objects when his car collided with a milk tanker.
Andrew Reinders, 53, from Wellington, died in hospital last Wednesday after the crash in Hawera.
He was one of 19 people who died on New Zealand's roads during the holiday road toll period, which ended on Wednesday morning.
Reinders is survived by his wife, son and three daughters.
He was a business development manager for Kiwibank and previously worked for many years at Westpac.
He was in the area geocaching when he was killed.
The activity is described on geocaching.com as a "real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices".
His wife Wilma said he had left the day before the accident and had been due back that evening.
She said it wasn't unusual for him to spend a night away geocaching.
The pair had been married for 26 years and Wilma said she loved her husband greatly and will miss him enormously.
She said one thing the family could take great comfort from was his very strong Christian faith.
She said he was committed to Christian education, was very involved in school life and was always helping others.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Reinders took a six-month career break in 2011 to do volunteer work at Maranatha Christian School where he helped with school trips, trustee work for the board and the reading recovery programme.
In his death notice the family quoted a Bible verse from Philippians.
"For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain," it said.
Wilma Reinders said that was very appropriate for her husband.
She said "I am so sad, but hope that we will meet again in heaven".