An Auckland police officer has penned an emotional plea to Kiwi drivers to be safer on New Zealand's roads after the holiday road toll jumped to four in the last 24 hours.
Two separate fatal crashes in Auckland, one in Clevedon last night and the other in Henderson this morning, resulted in four people dying.
There has also been other serious crashes which have left people in critical condition such as an incident in Christchurch that resulted in the driver needing to be cut from their vehicle.
The tragic start to the festive season has led Inspector Jason Homan to write a letter to the New Zealand public, urging drivers to look out for each other on the road.
Homan's letter said:
"Tāmaki Makaurau Police are urging drivers to take care on the roads following a tragic start to the holiday period.
The families of four people have lost a loved one on Auckland’s roads since last night.
Other crashes have caused serious injuries.
Every death on the road means a person will never come home again to their whānau and friends.
We do not want any other families to experience such pain and loss this holiday period.
While the cause of each crash remains under investigation, indications are that high speeds have been a contributing factor to the incidents.
This is why Police are urging drivers to be careful on the roads and slow down.
Do not speed.
Do not drink and drive.
Put on your seatbelt and make sure your passengers have theirs on.
Put away distractions like cell phones.
Our officers work tirelessly every day to keep our roads safe, but we cannot control the actions of every driver, every minute of the day, and people need to take accountability for their driving behaviour.
Road safety is something everybody must take responsibility for.
Every person getting behind the steering wheel needs to take ownership of their safety, that of their passengers and also other road users and pedestrians.
And if you’re a passenger in a vehicle and you don’t feel safe, please have the courage to say something to the driver, or ask to get out.
Get yourself and your friends home safe these holidays and take care on the roads."
New Zealand also had its first water-related death of the holiday period yesterday as well after a diving incident in the Hawke's Bay.
Police said medical assistance was provided to the person at Pourerere Beach but they died at the scene.