Two people have died after a crash last night near Hastings, police say.

The two-car crash occurred on Taihape Rd at Omahu, 30 kilometres west of Hastings, about 10.20pm.

The road has since re-opened.

Investigations into the cause of the crash are continuing, police say.

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Yesterday afternoon police issued a plea to drivers to take more care after the year's road toll hit 150, up from 137 at the same time last year.

Last night's crash in Hastings and a bus driver who died when his bus crashed off the road near Whangarei take the road toll to 153.

National road policing manager Superintendent Steve Greally said it was "extremely disappointing" the number of deaths was higher than last year.

"Drivers must be responsible by giving the roads their full attention, driving to the conditions, not driving drunk, drugged, or fatigued and ensuring the use of seatbelts," he said.

"The reality is that seatbelts save lives, being properly restrained reduces your chance of death or serious injury in a crash by 60 percent in the front seat and 44 percent in the back seat."

NZ Transport Agency general manager of safety, health and environment Greg Lazzaro, said every death and serious injury had far-reaching consequences.

"It is a terrible fact that on average seven people die and more than 50 are reported seriously injured every week on New Zealand's roads.

"Every one of these deaths and serious injuries has a devastating and ongoing impact on our families and our communities. On top of these tragic human costs, these crashes also impose a social cost on New Zealand of $84 million per week, or nearly $4.7 billion a year."

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