One person is dead after a fatal car accident on State Highway 1 at Hatepe, just south of Taupo on Wednesday night.
The 51-year-old man from Tauranga, the sole occupant of the car, was killed instantly after the Toyota utility he was driving hit a tree.
The man was not wearing a seatbelt and Taupo Police road policing senior sergeant Fane Troy said police cannot reiterate enough the importance of wearing your seatbelt.
"They do save lives," he said.
"Once again a family has lost a loved one because that individual made the decision not to wear a seatbelt."
Road and weather conditions at the time were fine.
The Taupo Serious Crash Unit is investigating the cause of the crash.
- © Fairfax NZ News