Holiday road toll: One dead, several injured after New Year's Day car accidents in Hikurangi, Queenstown Lakes district

Police are asking motorists to drive to the conditions after several more car crashes occurred on Friday.

They are also concerned about the holiday road toll which is already more than double what it was last year.

On Friday afternoon, one person died after a serious car crash on State Highway 1 in Hikurangi, near Whangarei.

A further five people were injured in the accident - one critically, two seriously and two others suffered moderate injuries.

In the Queenstown Lakes district two crashes occurred within two hours. A two-car crash happened on Gibbston Highway (SH6) just before 11am with two people believed to have been injured.

Then around 2:40pm, another two-vehicle crash took place on Crown Range Road, between Queenstown and Wanaka.

The road was completely blocked by the accident and one person was trapped in a vehicle.

"That vehicle has collided with a boat. The trailer knocked the tail off again, crossed the centre line and coming into the path of another vehicle," Det Sgt Reece Munro said.

"[It's a] really dangerous situation to be in and we're lucky to walk away with no fatalities."

Bad weather is just starting to move in on the South Island and police are hoping motorists will drive to the conditions.

Provisional figures show 320 people were killed on New Zealand roads in 2020.

Although that's fewer than 2019's 352 fatal crashes, AA says that figure should have been far less, especially factoring in the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

"Apart from the months that we were shut down and couldn't drive the numbers are the same, even up a little bit we're just not making any progress," motoring general manager Mike Noon told Newshub.

Just four people died during last year's Christmas and New Year holiday road toll period - but with three days still to go, we've already doubled that this year.

With no international tourists coming into the country, this year Kiwis can't pass the blame.

"Particularly at this time of the year it's all 'the tourists, it's all their fault, Kiwis are the good drivers'. The reality is, tourists are involved in about 5 percent [of fatal accidents]," Noon said.

Agencies continue to work on a strategy towards stopping people being killed and injured on our roads but the road to zero is a long way off.