A road toll 50 deaths higher than the previous year and the worst in nearly a decade has been described as "simply shocking" and unacceptable by the associate Transport Minister.
Two fatal crashes on New Year's Eve added to what was already a horror year on New Zealand roads.
The deaths brought 2017's provisional road toll to 380, making it the worst since 2009, when 384 were killed, according to Ministry of Transport figures.
In 2016, 327 people died on roads.
Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter said the figures were "simply shocking".
"The number of people dying on our roads has continued to increase over the past four years," she said.
"It will be obvious to many people driving this summer that the level of safety on many rural roads and even urban streets simply isn't good enough."
Before the Christmas break, the government announced it would be adding a $22.5 million boost to road safety funding for the summer.
"This is just the beginning. In 2018 the government will look at how it can increase and prioritise funding for road safety improvements across the country," Ms Genter said on Monday.
"I also intend to hold a road safety summit early this year so I can hear directly from councils about opportunities for improving road safety."
One person was killed on the Appleby Highway in the Tasman District in a collision between a ute and a car about 9pm on Sunday.
Meanwhile, a man critically hurt after a car rolled and hit a fence in Whangarei about 10.30am later died in hospital, police said.
The holiday period road toll ends on Wednesday and stands at 11, after a 69-year-old Tauranga man was killed in a collision on the Maungatapu Bridge about 2am on Monday.
Last year 19 people died in the Christmas-New year holiday period and more than 100 were seriously injured.