The motorcyclist who died in a crash on State Highway 1 north of Bulls may have been lying beside the road for several hours.
The male, believed to be from Auckland, was discovered this morning by a motorist, police said.
The death takes the unconfirmed Christmas and New Year road toll to six, equalling last year's toll for the entire holiday period with three days to go.
Constable Owen Bright of the the highway patrol at Ohakea said the bike and its rider were found in a section of bush beside the road.
"He wouldn't have been easily seen," he said.
Police were yet to confirm either the man's identity or the time the crash happened.
Bright said the motorbike was the only vehicle involved in the crash, which probably happened during the night.
"We're still confirming when it happened," he said.
The crash occurred about 2 kilometres north of Bulls and the motorcyclist was travelling south.
A scene examination by the serious crash unit has been completed.
The official holiday period began at 4pm on Christmas Eve and ends at 6am on Friday.
Last year's toll of six was the lowest since reliable records began.
The Christmas and New Year road toll in 2011-12 was 19, and in 2010-11 it was 12.
The only other time in more than five decades the holiday period's toll has been in the single figures was the Christmas and New Year period of 2006-07 when it was nine.
The 2013-14 toll so far:
- December 25, woman died in a crash in the far north
- December 28, child killed in a crash at Raumati South
- December 29, child killed single car crash south of Taumarunui
- December 29, person killed in a three-car crash Southland
- December 30, woman killed in a crash at Te Rapa
- December 31, motorcyclist killed at Bulls
- © Fairfax NZ News