Kaitaia man Andries Labuschagne was not surprised to hear that a motorcyclist had died on SH1 at Te Paki, 15km from Cape Reinga, last month.

Queenstown man Ben Petrie, 34, died on February 11 when he failed to take a a notorious bend immediately outside the Department of Conservation headquarters, crossing the centre line and colliding with a car.

Mr Labuschagne said he had had a very similar experience just 13 days before.

"I had two options — to try staying on the road and riding head-on into traffic coming the other way, or taking my chances with the fence," he said.


He chose the latter, suffering a fractured right hand and left foot, and four broken ribs. He had been centimetres away from smashing into a post, which would likely have broken his back.

And while he was lying there, waiting for an ambulance, the driver of a car almost "lost it" on the same corner.

He was still unable to return to work.

Mr Labuschagne, who had close to two decades of experience as a motorcyclist in New Zealand and South Africa, and had ridden some 100,000km on New Zealand roads, said he had never seen a corner like the one that could have cost him his life, and wrote off his three-month-old bike.

"I know New Zealand roads and driving conditions, and I can't believe that such a deceptive corner isn't marked in some way. On a local road perhaps, but not SH1," he said.

It had been a fine day, and there was no loose metal or any factor regarding the road surface that might have contributed to his accident.

And while he had been under the effects of morphine, which might have affected his recall, he remembered being told by an ambulance officer that he knew of up to seven crashes on the same corner.

He had contacted the NZ Transport Agency, whose principal traffic and safety engineer had told him that there was no accident record for that corner.

He had shown Mr Labuschagne a map, which showed no history whatsoever.

Mr Labuschagne believed the police had recorded his crash as occurring at Te Hapua.

NZTA was planning a survey of SH1, but that would not begin until May, and he did not know how long it would take to reach Te Paki.

"Someone else might die before then," he said.

NZTA was instructing contractors to erect warning signs immediately however, and had asked him to let it know if those signs had not appeared within four weeks (as of Monday last week).

Mr Labuschagne said he was concerned that the corner did not have a crash history, leading him to suspect that accidents were not being reported, or were being reported incorrectly.

He had asked St John for the number of accidents that ambulance crews had attended there, but had not received a response.

Meanwhile insult had been added to injury when he received a written warning from the police for failing to remain in his lane.

"They don't care that the NZTA acknowledges that the corner is a problem," he said.