One person has died on New Zealand roads for each day of the official Christmas-New Year holiday period.

The official road toll ended at 6am today, after 12 people died in crashes across the country.

Despite the grim toll it's an improvement on last year when 19 people died.

Eight died on North Island roads. The worst crash claimed the lives of two drivers who collided head-on in South Canterbury on Boxing Day.


The latest holiday road toll comes as New Zealand records its worst annual toll in seven years.

Just hours into the New Year a 69-year-old Tauranga man died when two vehicles collided on the Maungatapu Bridge on State Highway 29A in the Bay of Plenty.

A second crash involving a motorbike and ute in Masterton killed one person.

Two people were killed in separate crashes on New Year's Eve.

A person died in hospital after a car rolled and hit a fence in a residential Whangarei street.

And another died after a crash between a ute and car on the Appleby Highway in the Tasman District later that evening.

A person was killed when a truck rolled on Far North Rd, Waiharara in Northland early Saturday morning. Another in the truck was taken to hospital.

Two drivers died in a head-on crash on the Waimate Highway in Canterbury on Boxing Day.

Christchurch man Horton James Hill, 80, and Oamaru man Matthew James Gilchrist, 31, were killed when their cars collided on SH1 north of Glenavy.

Rotorua woman Jie Hu died in a crash on State Highway 5 at Hamurana on Christmas Eve. Three others were injured.

Waipukurau man Harry Nepe-Apatu, 65, died in a crash on Pourere Rd in Central Hawke's Bay early on Christmas Eve.

Boney Biju died on his way home from his 21st birthday party after his car left the road and hit a tree near Hanmer Springs on Christmas Eve.

Fijian national Lalita Devi was a passenger in a car that crashed on SH14 at Maungatapere on December 23.

Taxi driver Abdul Raheem Fahad Syed, 29, was the first victim in the holiday road toll, killed when his car was hit by another in central Auckland.

A 20-year-old Auckland man is facing a number of drink-driving and traffic charges after the Symonds St crash.

Two more people died in crashes but as the crashes happened on private property they are not counted in the road toll.

They include the death of Charleston man Brent Ronald Willets who died in a motorbike crash on private property in Buller on Christmas Eve and 44-year-old Phillip Lee Mitchell from Hannahs Clearing, Haast who died after his vehicle crashed off a steep bank into the Okuru River.