The number of people killed on the roads in Whanganui and Manawatu in 2017 is double what it was the year before.

Road fatalities in the region soared from 16 in 2016 to 32 last year.

The nationwide toll peaked at 380, the highest it's been since 2009 and 16.2 per cent higher than the 2016 toll of 327.

Compared with other regions in New Zealand, Whanganui-Manawatu has the third-highest toll after Auckland with 64 road fatals, Waikato with 62 and Canterbury with 55.


Whanganui-Manawatu's neighbouring districts didn't come close, with Taranaki's toll sitting at only five and Wellington with a toll of 15.

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter said the increase in the national toll in 2017 was "simply shocking". With deaths rising over the past four years, the Government announced before Christmas that it will give road safety funding a $22.5 million boost for the summer.

"I also intend to hold a road-safety summit early this year so I can hear directly from councils about opportunities for improving road safety," Ms Genter said.