A weird year on New Zealand's roads

There was plenty of horsing about on NZ's roads last year.

There was plenty of horsing about on NZ's roads last year.

A light-hearted look at some of the weird and wonderful sights on our roads during the last 12 months, the things that grind your gears or even make you smile.

2015 has had its share of weird and wonderful moments on the roads, so let's take a drive down memory lane.

First, Auckland.

Here's some Auckland traffic in the build up to a long weekend in May.
Chris Skelton

Here's some Auckland traffic in the build up to a long weekend in May.

Don't laugh. Traffic in Auckland is a real thing.

Then there was the horse on the back of the ute, which was snapped by police in the country's northernmost police outpost in Houhora.

The horse was coaxed (somehow) on to the back of a ute. Facebook went wild. There was horsing around. There was horse power. And so on.

A horse on the back of a ute has left Far North police "speechless".

Posted by Stuff.co.nz on Monday, December 29, 2014

And, yes, it's not exactly a year ago (it was late December last year) but that's OK.

We should also point out the man who had his kayak sideways on the roof of his car last December too.

To make matters worse police initially made a point about the man being Irish.

Police said he was Irish, but he wasn't.

Police said he was Irish, but he wasn't.

He wasn't, and was well and truly stumped.

Ad Feedback

Waikato Times reporter had a too close encounter with an animal recently while out and about.

Lucky for us, there is video and it's worth checking out (below).

Behind the news

When goats attack. The Waikato Times journalists go to great lengths to deliver your news to you. Check out their recent encounter with a furry friend #partylikeajournalist Stuff Journalists Like

Posted by Waikato Times on Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Then there was getting stuck in traffic.

Wellington and other centres around New Zealand laid on some classic Christmas jams, with motorists queuing for kilometres then sitting in traffic for hours in an effort to get off the roads and away from all the craziness for some peace and quiet.

Then there's the most infuriating habits on our roads, the drivers who really grind the gears.

We're talking about those who have no idea there is a queue of increasingly angry motorists behind them, the ones who sail past overtaking bays or fail to pull into the slow lane, that type of thing.

Let's move on.

Wicked Campers (yes, them) were in the thick of it again for the company's racy, occasionally offensive, slogans emblazoned on the sides of rental vans trundling around New Zealand.

A Wicked Campers van in Nelson.
Marion van Dijk

A Wicked Campers van in Nelson.

The Brisbane-based hire firm was called on to remove slogans activists labelled as violent, misogynist, racist and homophobic.

At the time Wicked Campers founder John Webb removed one particular slogan, but activists said there were still countless other offensive slogans on the vans.

Wicked Pickets founder Liz Upham said slogans like "she can't wrestle, but you should see her box", "fat chicks are harder to kidnap", "it's better to be black than gay because you don't have to tell your parents" and "a wife: an attachment you screw on the bed to get the housework done" do not belong on the streets.

One of the Wicked Camper vans that's more suitable for roads.

One of the Wicked Camper vans that's more suitable for roads.

Staying with tourism, ad campaigners were left a little red-faced after it emerged a Tourism New Zealand video showed a campervan on the wrong side of the road.

Titled New Zealand – the Ultimate Road Trip, the five-minute video featured the usual white-knuckle New Zealand adventures such as white water rafting, sky diving, bungy jumping and jet boating.

But the most death-defying of all is the few seconds when a campervan is driving along what appears to be a South Island road on the right hand side.

A video commissioned by Tourism New Zealand shows a campervan driving on the wrong side of the road.

The campervan was in fact on the correct side of the road but the image had been reversed by a video producer "because he thought it looked better".

Hertz New Zealand also managed to get in on the act, after its website showed a car driving on the right.

The hire firm changed an image on its website after being alerted.

Yes, roads are dangerous and, unfortunately, people do die but it's not all death and destruction.

Last month, Auckland police officer Constable Jimmy Collins helped deliver a baby at the side of a road in Botany. Awww.


Constable Jimmy Collins talks about helping a mother give birth on the roadside.

There was another classic, this time in Canterbury in October.

Two truckies, Jake Taylor and Quentin Johansen, filmed an out-of-control water tank barreling along at an estimated 60kmh as they drove beside it on the highway.

"We saw it travelling for at least 5km or 6km, it was out of control. It was wicked, (the) best thing I have ever seen," Taylor said.


High winds whipping across Canterbury

New Zealand also had the dubious distinction of a spate of incidents in which tourists had their keys snatched from them by members of the public. Vice magazine ran a report and there were worrying racial overtones in some of the incidents.

There were quite a few of these incidents across the country but many of them were in the South Island, on the classic tourist trail from Christchurch then either over to the West Coast and down through glacier country to Queenstown and Central Otago, or down the east coast and the Mackenzie country to Mt Cook.

The Government urged people not to take the law into their own hands.

Dashcam footage was also all the rage this year.

Video of tourists, Kiwis and truckies doing questionable things on our roads went far and wide. Video was played in court for a case in Queenstown, one of the busiest tourist hotspots in the country.

Others posted footage of Mackenzie country near-misses, a valet taking a car for a spin and youngsters hanging out of a sunroof.


Dashcam footage of Czech driver Adam Svehla, who performed two dangerous overtaking moves.

Everybody needs to calm down and just be thankful they live New Zealand, especially when you compare our roads to some of the insanity in other countries.

Just look at that photograph of Beijing.

Happy New Year.

Vehicles are stuck in a traffic jam near a toll station as people return home at the end of a week-long national day ...

Vehicles are stuck in a traffic jam near a toll station as people return home at the end of a week-long national day holiday in Beijing.

 - Stuff


Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback