Nine people were killed on New Zealand roads during the Christmas and New Year period - the lowest number of fatalities for the festive season since 2013.

But police are still begging motorists to take care during the summer holidays, which are far from over for many Kiwis.

The official holiday road toll period spanned 9.6 days this year - running from 4pm on December 24 until 6am today.

The first fatality came in the early hours of Christmas Day.

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Felix Newton, 17, died after crashing his ute in the Whanganui River.

His father Mike Newton told the Herald that the teenager was "a beautiful person, respected by all".

"He was one of the good guys," he said.

The keen surfer was remembered by many on Boxing Day when friends and family gathered at one of his favourite spots for a paddle out to pay tribute.

Whanganui surfer Felix Newton died after crashing his ute into Whanganui River in the early hours of Christmas Day 2018. Photo / Supplied
Whanganui surfer Felix Newton died after crashing his ute into Whanganui River in the early hours of Christmas Day 2018. Photo / Supplied

On December 27 Michael John Wellington, 77, was critically injured in a crash in Taupo.

He was rushed to Waikato Hospital but died on December 30 as a result of his injuries.

The next day Kusum Sarin, 63, visiting from India, died in a crash in Palmerston North.

Four others were injured in the crash.

On December 29 a 25-year-old motorcyclist was killed after he was struck by a car travelling the wrong way on State Highway 1 near Johnsonville.

The man died at the scene just after 3am from his injuries.

Shortly before the crash police were called about the driver travelling on the wrong side of the road.

A 72-year-old woman has been charged with careless driving causing death and the investigation into the crash is ongoing.

Gareth John Root was killed on December 29 when he crashed his car into a river near Blenheim.

Root, 35, is survived by a young son.

A day later on December 30, an 84-year-old man was badly injured when he crashed his car into a tree on Auckland's Tamaki Drive.

The crash happened at about 10.35pm.

The man was cut free from the wreckage and taken to Auckland City Hospital where he later died.

A passenger was also hospitalised but their injuries were not life threatening.

On New Year's Eve Alanna Louise Thom, 24, died in a crash on State Highway 1 near Waihola.

Thom, from Dunedin, was a twin.

Her sister Ash Thom said she was "numb" and "deeply shocked" by the loss.

''It's just so crazy to think she's gone,'' she told the Otago Daily Times.

Thom had been on her way home from a trip to Wanaka, where she had been spending time with friends at the Wanaka camping ground, when the accident happened.

Alanna Thom died in a crash near Waihola on New Year's Eve. Photo/Facebook
Alanna Thom died in a crash near Waihola on New Year's Eve. Photo/Facebook

Hours later Mickey Tarahuirangi Albert, 41, died when the car he was in left the road and crashed down on to rocks below near Colville in the Coromandel.

Albert was from Auckland.

Two other passengers - who police say were both children - were injured.

They were flown to Starship Hospital, where they remain in a stable condition.

The final fatality of the holiday period was a pedestrian who died in Gore yesterday.

Emergency services were called to the scene on the Waimea Highway near Gore about 12.30am after the man in his teens was hit by a car.

The tally of fatalities is lower than the previous year.

In the 2017/18 holiday period there were 11 fatal crashes that resulted in 12 deaths.

The deaths included eight drivers, three passengers and a motorcyclist.

According to the Ministry of Transport, the year with the highest number of deaths recorded was 1972/73 where 37 people lost their lives in crashes.

The lowest holiday road toll on record was in 2012/13 with six deaths.

The total road toll for 2018 reached 380 - making it the deadliest year on the country's roads since 2009.

All of the holiday crashes will be referred to the Coroner once police have finished investigating the circumstances.

"Police urge everyone to drive safely this summer," a spokesperson said.