Police have released the name of the man who was killed in a crash in Central Hawke's Bay on Sunday.

He was 65-year-old Harry Nepe-Apatu, of Waipukurau.

A police spokeswoman said "Mr Nepe-Apatu was the passenger in a vehicle which went down a bank on Pourere Road around 5:30am on Christmas Eve."

She said "Police's thoughts are with his family."

At the time, emergency services were called to the single-vehicle crash near Omakere at 5.35am.

The driver received minor injuries and Pourerere Rd was closed near the intersection of Clareinch Rd until about 3pm on Christmas Eve while the Serious Crash Unit examined the scene.


The Christmas Eve fatality is the 24th in Hawke's Bay, inclusive of the area between Wairoa and Tararua, this year.

It brings the region's road toll to the highest it's been since 2012, when there were 23 deaths.

Provisionally, seven people have now died on New Zealand roads this Christmas holiday road toll period, which began at 4pm on Friday and ends at 6am on January 3.