NZ’s Roads Described as "Killing Fields"

The death toll on New Zealand’s roads over the Anzac weekend reached 14, prompting National Road Policing manager, Superintendent Paula Rose to describe the roads as “killing fields”.

The accidents happened at a number of locations throughout the country which included Oruanui near Taupo, Tangimoana Rd, south of Bulls, Nelson, Whenuapai, SH1 north of Wellsford, Taupaki, Albany Village, Kelston, Meremere and Te Awamutu.

The worst accident was at Oruanui where a collision with a Chrysler shunted a BMW into a head on collision with a van which then burst into flames, killing the 4 people inside. The driver of the of the Chrysler also died and his daughter was seriously injured.

Two young children were pulled alive from the burning wreckage of the van by a passing motorist and taken to hospital.

Foreign Visitors to New Zealand
Visitors to New Zealand should take care on its roads. The high death toll has caused the
UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office to make this statement in it’s travel advice for New Zealand.

“Whilst road conditions are generally good in New Zealand, it takes a little while to get used to local driving conditions.

In 2007 there were 422 road deaths in New Zealand. This equates to 10.0 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 5.0 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2007.

You are advised to read a copy of the Road Code (the official guide to traffic rules and traffic safety) before driving. Particular attention should be given to the section covering the right of way rules, which are different from other countries. UK driving licences are valid for use for a maximum of 12 months.

Motor insurance is not a legal requirement in New Zealand. Therefore, even though the UK has a reciprocal Healthcare Agreement with New Zealand, private accident insurance is recommended. This is because New Zealand law has removed the right of accident victims to sue a third party in the event of an accident. Instead the Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) helps pay for your care if you are injured as the result of an accident. However, the ACC only covers the cost of treatment in New Zealand and delayed travel or loss of income in a third country is not covered.