Key Points:

A coroner yesterday warned owners of recently imported Japanese cars about what he said were the dangers of driving on New Zealand roads with snow tyres.

Levin coroner Phillip Comber said attention to such tyres "is a matter which requires urgent consideration".

Such tyres were fitted on a car in which Tiaina Gatoloai, 49, died on May 23 last year near Levin.

The coroner was issuing a report into Mr Gatoloai's death.

Meanwhile, the father of two young women killed in a crash in January, coincidentally near Levin, told Radio New Zealand yesterday that snow tyres were "dangerous" and should be removed from imports.

Antony Simon's daughters Isabelle, 15, and Lucy, 18, died when their Japanese import slid on a bridge and hit an oncoming truck.

Mr Comber recommended the police analysis of the crash that took Mr Gatoloai's life should go with a copy of his own decision to the Transport Safety Investigation Board.

Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven said last night that if there was evidence of a problem, changes would be made to tyre and wheel rules.

But there had "not been one crash brought to my attention by the police or Land Transport attributed to snow tyres - not one".

But he said what had definitely contributed to crashes was tyre inflation and tread depth.

"People's lack of maintenance in New Zealand is legendary."

Mr Duynhoven said snow tyres were used all around the world and were legal in New Zealand.

Mr Gatoloai, riding in the back of a Toyota, died at the scene from multiple injuries. The driver and a front-seat passenger, both women, survived.

An eyewitness account said the Toyota, doing about 90km/h on a wet road, fishtailed then spun right around twice into the path of a milk tanker.

Police crash investigator Senior Constable Leslie Maddaford's collision analysis said there was nothing on the road to cause the crash and no apparent mechanical faults.

However, the Toyota's tyre pressure were dangerously uneven, odd tyres were fitted on the front and snow tyres were on the rear.

Mr Maddaford had told the court there had been problems with snow tyres on Japanese imports. Such tyres were designed for different road conditions from New Zealand's.

Mr Comber said the constable was aware of other crashes in which snow tyres had been a factor.

- NZPA