A crash resulting in three deaths after a police pursuit has been labelled a "tragedy" for the families and police involved by Police Minister Stuart Nash.

The minister has asked for an update on the joint review into police chases which was prompted after a spate of crashes and deaths following pursuits in 2017.

"Police are currently working closely with the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) to review their policies and practices around these unpredictable events and I have asked for an update on progress in this review which is due to be completed later this year," Nash said.

His comment follows a horror weekend on New Zealand's roads with eight dead already as well as two people currently critically injured across two crashes.


A driver fleeing police near Nelson caused a crash in which three people died on Sunday morning.

Two cars collided on State Highway 6 near Clover Rd at about 5.40am on Sunday morning.

This brought the year's road toll to 77 - nine more than at the same time last year.

The review started in July 2017 was expected to be completed in late 2018.

The joint evaluation is headed by New Zealand Police and the IPCA and would look into all pursuits notified to the authority, covering about 75 chases.

"Fleeing drivers are always a highly challenging law and order event for police.

"Currently they deal with about 300 of these complex situations every month," Nash said.

Police had to make instant decisions based on the circumstances in front of them at the time, and the road and traffic conditions as well, he said.