Tourist driving laws looked at

A Geraldine woman has hopes New Zealand's tourist driving laws could change, following an inquest into her former partner's death.

Mel Pipson attended the inquest into the death of her former partner Grant Roberts, 43, of Timaru and Dennis Pederson, 54, of Tauranga, who were killed when a rental car driven by Chinese tourist Kejia Zheng, 20, crashed into their convoy of motorbikes in November 2012.

The inquest was held before coroner Richard McElrea in the Queenstown District Court on Friday.

Pipson said she questioned a NZ Transport Agency representative during the inquest about an agreement between New Zealand and other countries.

The agreement means people from those countries can drive here and New Zealanders can drive in those countries without sitting tests.

However, Pipson understands China has not signed it.

That matter was now being investigated, she said.

Zheng, who had arrived in New Zealand the day before the crash, was found to "probably" have driven for less than a month before the crash.

Roberts' son, Sean, 9, is also doing his bit to have New Zealand road rules changed so others do not have to suffer in the same way he has.

The youngster has launched a campaign to prevent tourists driving on New Zealand roads without sitting a test. He set up a petition last month. So far it has received 1500 signatures.

"A lot of support has been coming from Queenstown, so it's been really, really good."

He is aiming for 5000 signatures before presenting it to Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee.

To sign it online visit and search for Sean Roberts. The petition will also be available for signing at various locations.

The Timaru Herald