'They roar off at high speed - it doesn't mean cops have to do the same' - road safety campaigner calls for police chase policy change

A road-safety campaigner has compared police chases to "some cowboy posse" that results in "lots of dead bodies".

The comments from Clive Matthew-Wilson follow the deaths of two people in Auckland early yesterday after a driver hit a tree

The crash came after a police pursuit. Earlier this month, 15-year-old Morocco Tai died after crashing a stolen car in Otara. Police had earlier tried to stop the vehicle.

Matthew-Wilson said the police pursuit policy needed to change.

Road safety campaigner Clive Matthew-Wilson has called for NZ Police to abandon its pursuit policy. Source: 1 NEWS

"The end result is lots of dead bodies," he said.

"If that's the result that you want it's working really really well because we have one of the highest rates of police chase deaths, per head of population, in the world."

Matthew-Wilson, of the Dog and Lemon Guide, said that in many states of Australia, high speed police car pursuits were banned.

In Queensland, he said, there have been zero pursuit deaths since police abandoned the practice except in emergencies.   

"We have a choice," he said.

"We can be right and self-righteous about it and say these idiots shouldn't be doing this.

"I agree they shouldn't but the reality is just because they don't think, and roar off at high speed, doesn't mean the cops have to do the same.

"The reality is there's plenty of ways of catching criminals and to quote the Queensland Police Commissioner 'we would rather drag them out of bed at 6 o'clock in the morning than drag them out of the wreck of the car they've just crashed'. 

"If you want the death penalty for driving without a warrant then come out and say it because that's the end result of this kind of chase."

A high-speed police pursuit in Auckland in the early hours of this morning has claimed the lives of a man and woman in their 20s. Source: 1 NEWS

In a statement, assistant commissioner of road policing, Superintendent Sandra Venables, didn't directly respond to the call for chases to be scrapped.

She said the pursuit policy was updated last year and had been reviewed seven times since 1996, with each review making the policy safer.

"On each occasion police must strike a balance between the responsibility to protect life and the duty to enforce the law, however it is really up to the driver to take more responsibility and make better decisions," she said.

Police officers would never hesitate to abandon a pursuit which was putting people at risk, Supt Venables said.

Meet Whanganui's royal super fan who will follow Harry and Meghan in her campervan

A Whanganui woman who tried, and failed, to get an invite to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding is excited about their upcoming royal tour of New Zealand.

So much so, that she plans to follow the newlyweds around the country in her yellow campervan.

Seven Sharp went to meet Marie Shepherd to find out more.

Marie Shepherd couldn’t score an invite to the wedding, but will still go on a royal tour. Source: Seven Sharp

Visit the south Wairarapa town whose GDP growth outstripped Queenstown in 2017

Now it's the weekend let's talk tourism hot spots.

There are the obvious drawcards right?

Wine and sun – Martinborough has plenty to offer. Source: Seven Sharp

Jetting off to Queenstown, the cultural smorgasbord of Rotorua and sipping coffee in our capital city, but have you ever considered venturing to south Wairarapa?

While it's long been the playground of Wellingtonians, its appeal is growing at a rapid rate, with more and more local and international visitors putting Martinborough on the must-see list.

Rebecca Edwards took a drive over the Remutaka Hill to find the secret to the region's success.


Seven Sharp tries to get summer ready in a month with the F45 workout

After a long winter of calories... can you get your summer body ready in just one month?

Three of our reporters are putting themselves through the pain and we are now at the end of week one.

Caro, Tamati and Lucas have each taken on a fitness fad.

Today Lucas, our F45 rookie is giving us the week one update.

Lucas de Jong, our F45 rookie, is taking on the fad. Source: Seven Sharp

One man dead after reported street fight in Lower Hutt

One person has died in Lower Hutt this evening reportedly after a fight broke out.

Police have confirmed one man has died from "injuries sustained in an assault" at an incident on High Street in Taitā this evening.

Police say they were called to reports of a fight between a group of men at around 7:45pm.

When they arrived, they discovered the man he had suffered critical injuries and he died shortly after at the scene.

Police have taken one person into custody and have set up a detour between Macky and Burcham Streets with a scene guard expected to be in place overnight.

Police on scene after a man died from an assault in Taitā.
Police on scene after a man died from an assault in Taitā. Source: 1 NEWS