Holiday road toll: Eleven dead on New Zealand roads after person killed in Bay of Plenty crash

A person has died in a crash in the Bay of Plenty, taking New Zealand's holiday road toll to 11.

Police said the crash, between a car and a truck, happened in the Lower Kaimai Ranges (State Highway 29) at about 5:25am on Monday.

"The serious crash unit is at the scene," a police statement said. "The road will remain closed while they examine the scene.

"Motorists are advised to avoid the area."

The statement said diversions are in place and those travelling to Tauranga should use SH5 via Ngongotaha then SH36 as an alternative route, while people heading out of Tauranga should travel on SH2 via Waihi or SH36 via Ngongotaha then onto SH5.

"We thanks motorists in advance for their patience."

This year's Christmas/New Year road toll is more than double the entire 2019/2020 holiday period, where four people died on New Zealand roads. 

Monday's crash followed a fatal collision near Whangarei on New Year's Day - where a 6-year-old boy died.

That accident came after a crash in Christchurch on Wednesday where one person died and two people were killed in a collision in Southland last Monday.

Viliami Muru-Teutau, 20, was one of two killed in a crash in west Auckland on Boxing Day, and 24-year-old Rebecca MacAlees and her 34-year-old partner Terry Charleston were killed in a single-vehicle collision in Clevedon on Christmas Day.

Police investigations into all of the crashes are underway and authorities are pleading for motorists to be patient.

"We're really concerned and we're pleading to motorists just to heed those warnings," road policing manager Insp Scott Webb told Newshub on Tuesday.