Police in the Mackenzie Country removed the car keys from a tourist couple after they nearly caused a crash.

The pair were pulled over on State Highway 8, between Twizel and Omarama, on Friday afternoon.

Senior Constable Les Andrew told the Herald the officer who pulled them over reported that they nearly caused a major accident.

The couple, visiting from Asia, had been driving a rental car.


"It was a near-miss. Their car was taken off them as a result," Mr Andrew said.

"They were forbidden to drive and the rental company were told to come pick up the car."

Mr Andrew acknowledged that the long Waitangi weekend had been quite busy in regards to traffic incidents in the Mackenzie district.

He encouraged all motorists -- both locals and foreigners -- to be extra vigilant and patient as people started to head back home.