An Auckland man believes he was seconds from death after a head-on crash near Waihi over the Easter weekend.

Matthew Henderson, 25, was driving from Auckland to Tauranga with his girlfriend Laura Rose on Friday evening.

But on the outskirts of Waihi their weekend took a horror turn.

On the Parry Palm section of State Highway 2, Henderson saw a car coming towards them, having crossed the double yellow centre lines.

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"If I didn't swerve, I most definitely would be in a bag," Henderson said.

The two cars collided, at unknown speeds.

"We rolled, got airborne, then spun around and smashed into a tree.

""I started to panic, because there was smoke inside the car. My girlfriend was suspended up in the air from the seatbelt.

"She undid that, fell on top of me, and then it was a mad struggle to get out."

People who had been in the car behind Henderson ran to their aid, eventually getting Henderson and Rose out through the vehicle's back door.

Henderson said he didn't get their details, but he was very grateful for their help.

Matthew Henderson's vehicle after the crash. Photo / Supplied
Matthew Henderson's vehicle after the crash. Photo / Supplied

A police spokesperson said the driver of the other vehicle initially left the scene, with witness statements that "two or three people" ran away on foot.

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But the other driver was eventually found. No charges have been laid yet, as police inquiries are continuing.

Henderson and Rose are now suffering from major bruising, although they count themselves lucky it isn't any worse.

"I've a bruise that's going right across my collarbone and up my neck, from the seatbelt," Henderson said.

"The Friday night, when we were picked up from Waihi, I could barely walk. My knees were shot, my back was wrecked.

"I haven't been able to sleep properly, can barely eat.

"I just keep wanting to break down and cry."

Henderson's tools for working as a builder were scattered over the road in the crash.

Matthew Henderson, 25, and girlfriend Laura Rose are grateful to the people from the car behind them who helped them get out of their vehicle after the almost deadly head-on crash near Waihi. Photo / Supplied
Matthew Henderson, 25, and girlfriend Laura Rose are grateful to the people from the car behind them who helped them get out of their vehicle after the almost deadly head-on crash near Waihi. Photo / Supplied

He said most were damaged beyond repair, and he'd have to borrow tools until he could afford to buy new ones.

"The insurance covers the car but not the tools. Both my nail guns alone, that's about $1800.

"So that's quite a bummer."

Vikki Thomson was following the other driver through Waihi, and said he was driving erratically.

"I was reaching for my phone to call the cops on him when this happened.

"Seeing the ute airborne coming at me was like a movie scene I don't want to see again."

The Easter weekend road toll is currently at two, after one person has died in a crash in Southland this morning.

The crash happened on the Riverton-Wallacetown Highway at Oporo,

A a four-wheel drive and a tanker collided at 7.50am.

The driver of the four-wheel drive died at the scene.

There are no further injuries.

The road is closed between the intersections of Taramoa Rd and Cumnock St, Wallacetown.

Diversions are in place and the Serious Crash Unit will be investigating.

Earlier this morning a pedestrian died after being struck by a car near Gisborne.

The man was found on the side of Tapuaeroa Rd at Ruatoria just before 1am.

He died at the scene.

Police said he appeared to be the victim of a hit-and-run.

"An individual has been spoken to and is assisting police with their investigation," a police spokesperson said.

"The investigation includes establishing whether the man was hit by a vehicle.

"No one has been arrested."

Yesterday a man died while participating in a motorbike race in Methven, about an hour from Christchurch.

Riders in the Mountain Thunder motorcycle event in Methven where a person died yesterday. Photo / Facebook
Riders in the Mountain Thunder motorcycle event in Methven where a person died yesterday. Photo / Facebook

Police and the Ministry of Transport have clarified that his death is not considered part of the official road toll, as the road was closed to the public at the time.

Emergency services were called to the annual Mountain Thunder motorcycle event after the man crashed at 12.50pm.

He suffered critical injuries in the crash and died at the scene.

The Serious Crash Unit are investigating.

The official Easter road toll period began at 4pm on Thursday and will end at 6am on Tuesday.

Over the 2016 long weekend there were four fatal crashes resulting in four deaths.

The deaths included two drivers, a passenger and a person who was skateboarding.