The holiday road toll has risen to nine after the death of a pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle on a highway in Southland overnight

Emergency services were called to the scene on the Waimea Highway near Gore about 12.30am this morning.

Police are appealing to members of the public who might have seen a male in his late teens walking along Waimea Valley Rd between 7pm, January 1, and 12.30am, January 2.

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Anyone with information can contact Gore Police Station on 03 203 9323.

The Serious Crash Unit has examined the scene and the coroner has been notified.

Nine people have now died in road crashes so far during the Christmas holiday period.

The toll rose to eight following the death of a man late on New Year's Eve who was in a car that crashed on to rocks in the Coromandel Peninsula. The vehicle left Port Jackson Rd and plummeted onto rocks 10m below. A young child was flown to Starship children's hospital in critical condition.

Police confirmed yesterday that a man aged 84 died in Auckland City Hospital at the weekend, several hours after a single-vehicle crash on Tamaki Drive.

The Serious Crash Unit is examining the scene and the death has been referred
to a coroner.

The holiday road toll

• Christmas Day: Whanganui teen Felix Newton died after crashing his ute into the Whanganui River in the early hours of the morning.

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• December 27: One dead, details unknown.
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• December 28: Kusum Sarin, a 63-year-old woman from India, died and four others were injured in a crash in Palmerston North.

• December 29: A 25-year-old Wellington man died when the motorcycle he was riding on SH1 was hit by a car being driven the wrong way down the motorway.

• December 29: A man died after crashing into the Opaoa River at a Blenheim campground at 12.55am.

• December 30: An 84-year-old man died in hospital several hours after a crash in Parnell, Auckland at 10.35am.

• December 31: A person died and another was seriously injured in a crash on SH1, north of Waihola in Otago, at 1.30pm.

• December 31: A man died after the car he was in with three others crashed down a 10m bank and on to rocks in Colville at 11.17pm.

The 2018 road toll

The road toll for 2018 ended on 380 following the Colville fatal.

The country's grim road death statistics have been described as horrific after 2018 was confirmed as the deadliest year in nearly a decade.

The provisional 2018 road toll was two more than in 2017.

It is the worst road toll since 2009 when 384 people lost their lives.

Road authorities are calling it an "absolute tragedy" and urging people to be responsible on the roads during the rest of the holiday period.

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter said: "It is a staggering and unnecessary loss of life - equivalent in scale to a major airline crash.

"Many deaths and serious injuries on our roads are preventable. This Government is committed to reducing deaths and serious injuries through new thinking, more funding and prioritised action. The Government is investing $1.4 billion over three years to make urgent safety improvements across our high-risk roads."