Three people have died on New Zealand roads so far this weekend, adding to the summer holiday road carnage.

A person died and five were injured after a car hit a tree on Oteha Valley Rd in Albany on Auckland's North Shore at 1.30am this morning.

One person had serious injuries, three had moderate injuries and one had minor injuries.

Police confirmed all six people were in the car when it crashed. A spokeswoman said they were unsure of the ages or genders of those involved.


Meanwhile, a man died yesterday after the van he was travelling in left Arundel Rakaia Gorge Rd, near Mount Somers in Mid Canterbury, about 8am and crashed into the Rangitata Diversion Race.

The man was travelling southbound when his van crashed into a bridge, entered the water and became fully submerged.

Police said his body was located in the van.

In the early afternoon in the central North Island yesterday, a cyclist died after a collision with a car on the Taupo Expressway.

Medical attention was provided, but the cyclist died at the scene.

Northbound lanes were closed and diversions were put in place at Centennial Drive and Broadlands Road after the fatality.

The police's Serious Crash Unit is investigating all three fatal crashes.

Another two people were left with life-threatening injuries after a two-vehicle crash on SH2, south of the Bay of Plenty town of Katikati yesterday afternoon.

Emergency services were notified just after 4.30pm of the crash between the intersections of Wright and Aongatete roads.

SH2 was initially completely blocked as emergency services tended to the injured, which included two people in critical condition.

Diversions were put in place between Tauranga and Paeroa, before the road was later reopened.

In Auckland, southbound traffic on the Southern Motorway was brought to a standstill after a bus caught fire near the Greenland interchange.

Emergency services were called to the incident shortly after 10am.

Fire Service spokesman Jaron Phillips said there were no reports of injuries and passengers had got off the bus safely.

The incident closed all southbound lanes for more than an hour, with all lanes only reopened at midday.

Traffic on the Wellington motorway network was also slowed yesterday after a crash.

A car rolled at the Porirua intersection of SH58 and James Cook Drive, causing one lane of the highway to be closed.

The three deaths came after a horror holiday period on New Zealand roads, taking the 2017 toll to nine.

Nineteen people died during the holiday period, which began on December 23 and ended at 6am on January 4.

The toll was the highest in four years.

Twelve people died on the roads in the 2015-16 holiday period.

Road deaths in New Zealand have been on the rise in recent years.

Last year, 327 people died on the roads, eight more than in 2015.

All the passengers got off safely with no reports of injury after a bus caught fire on the Southern Motorway in Auckland yesterday. Photo / Supplied
All the passengers got off safely with no reports of injury after a bus caught fire on the Southern Motorway in Auckland yesterday. Photo / Supplied