Today the family and friends of Rhys Middleton will mark the anniversary of his death by paying tribute to the Tauranga man with a private gathering.

"It's going to be a tough day," his mother Judy Richards said.

Middleton was killed when the motorcycle he was riding was struck by a Chinese woman who pulled out onto State Highway 5 north of Hawkes Bay. Jieling Xiao, 27, was convicted of dangerous driving and sent home leaving Middleton's grief-stricken family to pick up the pieces.

"No one knows what it's like until you walk in those shoes," Richards said.

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But what is helping her through is the fight she has started to call for change to the New Zealand legal system.

On February 14, Richards will present a petition to New Zealand First leader Winston Peters on Parliament's steps. She will be flanked by the many people who have supported her call for tighter rules on foreign drivers on New Zealand roads since the petition began in August.

The petition calls for foreign drivers spending at least three months in New Zealand to sit a driver's test before they are issued a licence and already has more than 5300 signatures.

Richards said it was "about time" something was done to challenge the law.

"I think it's important. Not for just me, but for everybody," she said.

"It's one of those things that you need to get across the line because too many people are being killed if you don't."

Provisional figures for 2016 showed 25 deaths on New Zealand roads were due to foreign drivers, she said. That death toll was expected to rise as the figures were finalised.

"We are going down to Wellington with 25 crosses to put on Parliament steps and we've got to take a couple of blank ones that will be added to them because there will definitely be more, I have no doubt about it."

Judy Richards, the mother of Rhys Middleton who was killed by a foreign driver, will present a petition to Parliament calling for change to laws around foreign drivers. Photo/file
Judy Richards, the mother of Rhys Middleton who was killed by a foreign driver, will present a petition to Parliament calling for change to laws around foreign drivers. Photo/file

Supporters of the petition have said they will join Richards in the presentation, and she was calling others to join them.

"We would like anyone in support of the petition, on foot or on motorbikes, to come down."

Richards said the problem with foreign drivers involved in serious crashes in New Zealand would not go away until someone stopped it. That someone was her.

"If I have to fight my whole life for this, to make sure no one else gets killed, it's worth every effort," she said.

New Zealand First Tauranga List MP Clayton Mitchell had been helping Richards around the political intricacies of presenting a petition and said once it was handed over, it would go to select committee where Peters would table it. It would then be given to the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee, which included Mitchell.

"Then submissions are asked for and Judy Richards will come through, and any other submitters, and we'll talk about the next step and hopefully gain some traction and hopefully change some of that legislation," Mitchell said.

"We are looking forward to it. It's a sensible approach to a problem affecting a lot of New Zealanders."

Petition online here: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/foreign-drivers-to-sit-new-zealand-drivers-licence