The country is filled with "lousy drivers" who have not been taught the rules of the road properly, says the editor of New Zealand Driver magazine.
Allan Dick's comments follow another tragic weekend on the roads with eight people dead.
He said there needed to be a new approach to training young drivers.
"We continue to take a punitive response to road crashes," he told Radio New Zealand.
He pointed to Germany's autobahn where there was no speed limit but about half the road toll deaths per capita compared with New Zealand.
"We simply don't educate drivers. The requirement to get your licence is minimal -- you answer a few questions, the driving test is quite basic -- and then you unleash people on the road.
"It's not good enough."
We were a "nation of lousy drivers", he said.
Police today named the man who was killed in a road accident near Motueka early yesterday morning.
He was Gary Allen Johnson, 37, from Motueka, northeast of Nelson.
Sergeant Dale Jenkins said the accident happened on State Highway 60, two kilometres south of Motueka, about 1am.
It was believed Mr Johnson was lying on the southbound lane when he was hit by a vehicle being driven south by a woman.
He was dead when emergency services arrived.
A 25-year-old Korean national was killed when two cars collided on State Highway 2, near Clive, 10km north of Hastings, yesterday.
Sergeant Clint Adamson of Hastings police said the crash happened about 5pm.
The 19-year-old driver and sole occupant of the other car was taken to hospital with severe chest and pelvic injuries.
Mr Adamson said police were still trying to determine which of the vehicles had crossed the centre line.
A woman passenger was killed when the car she was in rolled and she was thrown clear near Dargaville shortly after 1am on Saturday.
Inspector Willie Taylor from the police northern communications centre said the woman died at the scene.
He said no other vehicle was involved and it rolled on a straight section of road.
Nearly 90 minutes later James Andrew Rameka, 17, and Phillip Charles Day, 25, both of Reporoa were killed died at 2.27am when a car hit a power pole on State Highway 5 at Ohaaki near Rotorua.
Sergeant Dave Frazer of Taupo police said a BMW car heading south failed to negotiate a moderate bend and slid into the pole.
Later on Saturday morning two people were killed and another critically injured in a two-car collision at 9.35am on State Highway 73 at Kirwee, 37km west of Christchurch.
The occupants of one car -- Roanna Marie Sisson, 30, and her two-year-old daughter Emma Maree Sisson -- died at the scene.
Yesterday afternoon a tour bus and car collided when the car crossed the centre line.
Inspector Turepu Keenan of the police northern communications centre said the 33-seater bus carrying Korean tourists collided with a car on State Highway 27 at Patetonga, 32km northwest of Morrinsville.
The occupant of the car died and two tourists from the bus were treated for minor injuries at the scene.