As Labour Day weekend begins, so too does the rush to get out for the holiday.

People are being urged to allow for extra travel time on the roads and to keep in mind that there is a lower speed threshold in place over the long weekend.

Traffic is starting to build up in parts of the country as holidaymakers begin to head out.

The NZ Transport Agency said traffic in Auckland is picking up, particularly in Takanini early this afternoon.


People going to the airport are being told to allow for extra travel time due to increased flights for the long weekend.

Congestion on State Highway 1 from Puhoi to Wellsford is also building, as of 12.30pm.

"Traffic is expected to be busy through this area between 12.30pm and 8pm for north-bound traffic today,'' the NZTA said.

"Road users are advised to expect delays and allow extra time for their journeys when travelling through this area.''

People travelling can check congestion via a dedicated Labour Weekend holiday hotspots page on the NZTA website.

Police are also strongly urging motorists to drive safely and to reduce speeds this long weekend.

Authorities have put in place a speed threshold over the next three days, meaning anyone snapped driving more than 4km/h over the speed limit in the area may a ticket.

That will, however, be at the discretion of the ticketing police officer.

National Policing manager Superintendent Steve Greally said: "The speed limit is not a target and should not be exceeded. We all know our roads are unique and challenging.

"The faster we travel, the greater the risk,'' he said.

Three people were killed in three crashes last Labour weekend, while 94 people suffered injuries in reported injury crashes.

"So far, in 2017, 301 people have been killed in 271 crashes," Greally said.

"At the same time in 2016, 255 people had died in 219 crashes. This leaves a devastating impact on affected families and communities,'' he said.

"That's why police will have a visible and proactive presence on the road during Labour Weekend, using a mixture of prevention and enforcement activities - focusing on areas of highest demand and risk.''

On the weather front, temperatures are forecast to be warm in the lead-up to the long weekend; reaching the high 20s in some parts of the South Island today.

MetService said conditions would, however, return to a changeable westerly flow as a ridge moves to the northern Tasman.

"Those westerlies bring quite a bit of cloud and periods of rain or showers to southern and western regions at times over the weekend.

"There will also be a noticeably cooler feel in the south, compared with the warmer temperatures at the start of the weekend.''

On Monday, rain is expected to spread over the northern part of the North Island, but it will be mainly fine elsewhere.

In the South Island, rain in the west will ease to a few showers around Fiordland and South Westland. There will be isolated showers in other areas.

Auckland is in for showers and then rain on Labour Day, with a high of 18C and an overnight low of 13C.

That is okay weather for anyone attending The Armageddon Expo at the ASB Showgrounds, in Greenlane, which runs from today through to Monday.

Similar conditions are expected in New Plymouth and Whangarei, but the latter is expecting a warm high of 20C that day.

Those spending the long weekend in Gisborne will see rain later in the evening and a high of 21C on Monday. There will be a few showers in Palmerston North.

Any politicians sticking around in Wellington can look forward to a glorious fine day and a high of 16c on Labour Day.

Those in Hawke's Bay will enjoy a four-day weekend, thanks to today being their birthday anniversary.

MetService forecaster Cameron Coutts said today would be a reasonable day in the area, with just some morning cloud.

"Then it stays fine over the region for the rest of the weekend - lots of warm sunshine, so don't forget your hat and sunscreen,'' he said.

That is good news for those in Hawke's Bay for the A&P Show, being held in Hastings.

Boaties are also being encouraged to be safe when out on the water this weekend and to check conditions before heading out.

Safer Boating Week wraps up today, but Maritime NZ is urging boaties to take care.

"It's all about encouraging boaties to get ready before getting on the water at the long weekend,'' he said.

"Better prepared boats and boaties leads to fewer incidents, fewer injuries and fewer deaths.''

Last year, there were 13 fatalities out on the water. So far, this year, the number of people killed stands at 12.