Despite a few minor accidents, Christmas traffic in and out of Auckland is not as bad as was feared, say the NZTA.
A few minor accidents have caused some localised congestion, but the agency said State Highway One had so far been more free-flowing than expected.
Traffic was still heavy heading south to Takanini after a crash at the northbound onramp to the Southern Motorway on Great South Road.
Further south, motorists can expect delays along State Highway One between Taupo and Turangi - which was now down to one lane heading south after a serious crash this afternoon.
Police said one person was in a critical condition and another had moderate injuries after the two vehicle crash, with one car reportedly catching fire.
Another crash which closed State Highway 29 over the Kaimai Ranges had been cleared to allow one lane to open.
Earlier congestion northbound between Paraparaumu and Waikanae had eased.
In the South Island, State Highway 1 north of Christchurch was expected to be heavy until mid afternoon, as well as the coastal highway through Kaikoura.