A 66-year-old Australian woman died in a crash after her vehicle crossed the centreline and into another vehicle, killing a Waikato student.
Otorohanga police Sergeant Andy Connors said the woman had just flown into Auckland Airport from Melbourne at 1.15am yesterday.
She then hired a car and drove south, en-route to Taranaki.
Her vehicle then crashed into a car being driven by a 17-year-old Te Awamutu College student, killing both.
Speed was not believed to have been a factor in the 8am crash, Connors said.
"They were just both small vehicles in a high impact, horrible crash. These things are never enjoyable to attend, and my heart goes out to all of the families."
They had the Australian woman's name, but had not yet been able to formally identify her.
Police had made contact with the Te Awamutu College schoolgirl's family.
A man travelling north in a Mercedes behind the student's car escaped with minor injuries after his vehicle was also hit and spun on impact.