It's been a deadly start to Christmas week on the roads with three people killed and several others injured today.
Two people died and one person was seriously injured after a crash on State Highway 5 in Rangitaiki near Taupō just before 1.30pm.
The Napier-Taupō road has only just partially reopened.
This morning one person was killed in a two-car crash on SH25A, on the Coromandel Peninsula.
Emergency services were also currently at the scene of a crash on SH29 in Lower Kaimai, south of Tauranga.
The road was closed and diversions were in place.
SH5 was temporarily closed after the fatal crash in Rangitaiki near Taupō.
Following the crash a Hawke's Bay DHB spokeswoman confirmed two people were airlifted to Hawke's Bay Hospital in critical condition. Both were women, one in her 20s and another in her 50s.
The spokeswoman said they were potentially expecting more injured coming in from the scene.
A St John spokesman said earlier that two helicopters and two ambulances were at the scene.
A woman at the nearby hotel said a witness to the crash described it as a "head-on".
The woman said it appeared a car had drifted across the centre line into another vehicle, which was then hit by an oncoming truck.
The person who called emergency services was "definitely shaken up".
"The car was right in front of them. It just veered across the centre line."
• Holiday traffic: Two dead after crash on State Highway 5, significant delays expected
• One person dead after crash on Kopu-Hikuai Rd, State Highway 25a on Coromandel Peninsula
• Napier-Taupo Rd, SH5, closed after serious crash near the Rangitaiki Tavern
• Crash landing: Car ploughs through New Windsor fence, driver trapped
The woman said it was a sad start to Christmas for all of those involved.
A Rangitaiki Tavern worker said occupants from a car who witnessed the crash rushed to their pub to use the phone to call emergency services.
The crash happened near the tavern and there was no mobile phone reception out there, she said.
The eyewitnesses had come in looking frantic, she said.
The worker was told by the occupants that the crash looked "extremely bad".
She could see the odd car still going past, but expected the road would be closed.
"There are quite a few trucks lined up."
The double-fatal crash came less than an hour after police reopened SH25A at Kopu after a fatal crash earlier today.
Police were alerted to the crash around 9.10am and the road was closed about four hours and reopened about 1.30pm.
There have been 22 fatalities on the stretch of SH25a between Kopu and Tairua in the last 20 years, according to the Herald's new interactive map.
A serious crash on the same road two days ago closed the road between Kopu and Tairua.
One man, in his 20s, was taken to hospital then by helicopter in a critical condition.
The official holiday road toll begins tomorrow afternoon at 4.