Two keen hunters, living at separate ends of the country, died during this year's Easter holiday road toll period.

Ministry of Transport's provisional figures show there were two deaths during the period from 4pm Thursday to 6am today.

Police are investigating exactly how Ruatoria man Nelson Hari, a shearer and keen hunter, came to his death as he walked home about 12.40am on Sunday on a dark country road after drinking with friends.

Ruatoria man Nelson Hari, 25, was a shearer and also a keen hunter. Photo / Hari Family
Ruatoria man Nelson Hari, 25, was a shearer and also a keen hunter. Photo / Hari Family

They are interviewing the driver of a car which stopped at the scene.


His family are distraught and still unable to plan his tangi as a post-mortem still needs to be carried out in Palmerston North this week.

Keen rugby player and hunter Conor Drake, 21, from Otautau, Southland, died after his four-wheel-drive and a tanker collided on the Riverton-Wallacetown Highway, Oporo, about 7.50am Sunday.

Otautau Rugby Club, of which Drake was a member, posted a message on its Facebook page, saying its front row will never be the same again.

The serious crash unit is investigating.

"Any death or injury on our roads will always be one too many and is devastating for families," says Inspector Peter McKennie, Acting National Manager Road Policing.

Four people died on the roads during the 2016 Easter break.

Ministry of Transport figures show there have been 107 crashes compared to 101 at same time last year.

Read more: Family's heartbreaking wait for return of son's body

Of those crashes this year, 80 who have died were men, 27 were women.


Those aged between 25 and 59 make up the largest number killed, with 50, while 24 people aged 60-plus died, along with 19 aged 20 to 24, and 13 people aged between 0 and 19.

January and March have claimed 32 each while 28 people died in February and 15 so far in April.

McKennie said in addition to the fatals, there will be many others hospitalised with serious injuries, which could have long-lasting affects for them and their loved ones.

"Staff across all 12 police districts have had, and will continue to have, a visible presence on our roads to watch out for and act on any unsafe driving incidents.

"We will now analyse the information we have and wait for investigations to be completed in order to establish the contributing factors to these fatal crashes."