The woman who died in a crash near Wairoa on Friday was well-known locally.
Judy Shadbolt worked at B-J's Dairy in Wairoa and was involved in golf and bowls, her sister Lyn said.
"She was really well known in the community. She had a busy life."
Ms Shadbolt grew up in Wairoa and attended Wairoa College in the 1960s.
She died on Friday in a single-vehicle crash just half an hour before the holiday road toll period officially began.
The accident took place at about 3.30pm on Friday on State Highway 2 near Raupunga. The grandmother of five was the only person in the car.
Police were investigating the accident.
"She'd just turned 65 and she was really excited about that," her sister said, adding that she did not plan to retire yet.
Ms Shadbolt had one son, who was now living in Australia.
"She was a kind, generous and giving person," Lyn said.
Another sister, Robyn, died a week earlier following an illness.
Ms Shadbolt's funeral would be held in Wairoa on Friday, followed by a private cremation.
The provisional road toll for the official Labour Weekend holiday period was five - two more than the same period last year.