The official holiday period ended at 6am last Wednesday and the Ministry of Transport says the road toll is 19 - up from 12 the previous year. It equals that of 2011-12.

This summer's toll included three dead following a bus crash near Gisborne on Christmas Eve and three 15-year-olds killed at Leeston, in Canterbury, on Boxing Day.

In 2016, 327 people were killed on New Zealand's roads, up from a record low of 253 in 2013.

More than 90 hadn't been wearing seatbelts, which was up from previous years' average of 60, according to police Assistant Commissioner Dave Cliff.

He lamented that while now 95-98 percent of people were wearing safety belts, a small number weren't.

"But they are also the group that are involved in serious crashes who are being killed," he told RadioLive.

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