Traffic slows to a crawl across NZ due to Easter and Ed Sheeran fans

Traffic has slowed to a crawl across the country as people  head out of town for Easter.

Traffic jams have sprung up across the North and South island, and the NZTA is asking motorists to be patient and take breaks to avoid accidents.

Heading out of Auckland,  State Highway 1 near Mercer is blocked due to a combination of road works and Easter travellers.

Hamilton City Councillor Dave Macpherson saw the traffic on his way into Auckland this morning and told Newshub it could be 10 to 12 kilometres long.

He's asking motorists to be careful in the traffic as a split second decision to try and gain a few minutes can be dangerous.

"It's not going to help you by getting there five minutes faster and putting yourself, your family and other people at risk of serious injury or death," he said.

Congestion is also slowing down travellers headed east of Auckland at the SH1 link to SH2 at Pokeno and north of Auckland near Wellsford.

Near Wellington NZTA is advising of delays from Ōtaki to Waikanae and Plimmerton to Pukerua Bay due to an increased volume of traffic on the roads.

Down south travellers are faced with both Easter traffic and concert goers heading to Dunedin to watch Ed Sheeran.

NZTA is warning drivers to expect delays from congestion between Dunsandel and Rakaia.

John van Gosliga is on his way to Timaru from Nelson and told Newshub traffic was fine until he arrived in the town of Rolleston just outside Christchurch city.

He said it's apparently bumper to bumper with cars travelling around five kilometres an hour to Ashburton and beyond.

His advice to other drivers is that it's important to keep a cool head in situations like this, as he's seen some pretty bad behaviour while stuck in traffic.

"We've had cars passing and everybody's been tooting and swerving in front of them," he said.

"They're just obviously impatient."