Police have urged Kiwis to take care on the roads after a horror 24 hours.

Four people died in separate crashes from Friday night to Saturday afternoon.

Superintendent Steve Greally, national manager road policing, described the deaths as a "truly horrific start to the holiday season".

"Police are extremely saddened by the four deaths that have occurred on our roads over the last 24 hours," Greally said.

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"We cannot imagine how this will impact the families of those involved at what is supposed to be a happy time of year. Our hearts go out to them.

"The last thing Police want to do is turn up on a loved one's doorstep in the days before Christmas and tell them someone is dead."

Greally said motorists had to realise that they needed to take on the responsibility that came with being on the road.

"This means giving driving your full attention, always wearing your seatbelt, and not driving drunk, drugged, or fatigued," he said.

"With more people on the roads over the holiday season, and with bad weather forecast for a number of regions in the coming days, it's also crucial that you drive to the conditions.

"We want everyone to make it where they're going safely, and to be around to spend the holidays with their loved ones."

One person died, one was seriously injured, and four others were injured in a crash near Mount Cook this afternoon.

The crash happened on Mount Cook Rd north of Twizel.

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Emergency services were called to the serious crash at about 2.10pm. The road was closed for some hours and diversions put in place.

The Serious Crash Unit are investigating.

South Island emergency services also responded to a two-vehicle crash in Clutha which left a person trapped this afternoon.

Lakeside Rd, Lovells Flat, was closed as emergency services attended the incident after being notified about 2.40pm.

This latest incidents follow three fatal crashes elsewhere in the country in the past 24 hours.

One person died in a crash on Banks Peninsula this afternoon.

A police spokesperson said the sole occupant of a car died in the noon crash in Okuti Valley, 50km southeast of Christchurch.

"A car went over a bank on Bossu Rd ... the sole occupant of the car has been confirmed deceased," the spokesperson said.

The Serious Crash Unit has been told and traffic management would remain while emergency services were at the scene.

Another person died in a single-vehicle crash just before 4.30am on Te Puna Rd, near Tauranga. A second person was critically injured in the crash.

And a man died in a single-vehicle crash on Christchurch's Southern Motorway just before 9pm yesterday.

The man, who died at the scene, was the only occupant of the vehicle, police said.