Seven people were killed on the country's roads over the Queen's Birthday holiday weekend, but police say it may be more a "Saturday night issue" than a holiday weekend one.
The toll included the deaths of four Hawke's Bay farm workers on Sunday morning, who had been drinking at a pub beforehand.
Their Mitsubishi Pajero was found over a bank near Putorino, 60km north of Napier, and police say alcohol was a factor in the crash.
They were named as Jack Huata, 64, Paul Thomas Parata (known as Boydie), 48, both of Raupunga, and Waipua locals Lou Phillip Wesley, 47, and 42-year-old James Raupita.
The four had been working at Moeangiangi Station - the same sheep station where four shearers had been working before they were killed in a head-on crash near Mohaka in January.
Gail Annette Hansen, 67, of Hastings, was killed when she was struck by a car on State Highway 2, at Otane in the Hawke's Bay, on Saturday.
Other deaths happened at Stratford in Taranaki on Saturday night and Lincoln near Christchurch early on Sunday morning.
Police say alcohol is believed to be a factor in three of the four crashes.
Police also attended more crashes this weekend; about 800 compared to 360 over last year's Queen's Birthday.
"I'm more inclined to believe it's a Saturday night issue... it's more about people going out at night without a sober driver," acting road policing national manager, Superintendent Rob Morgan, told Radio New Zealand.
However, police have to go through the factors behind each crash before pinpointing the reasons behind the increase.
It was the worst Queen's Birthday toll since 2009, when 10 people were killed.
The annual road toll stands as 125, compared to 123 at the same time last year.Last year's road toll of 284 was the lowest since 1952 when records began.
Could Wellington's plan to help homeless beggars succeed?Vote
Copyright © 2013 Yahoo! New Zealand
All rights reserved.
Select your region to see news and weather for your area.