The bus driver accused of careless use of a motor vehicle causing the deaths of five Chinese tourists has appeared briefly in court this morning.

Appearing before a registrar in the Auckland District Court, the accused was remanded without plea and granted continued name suppression.

The prosecutor requested the case be transferred to Rotorua, but the defence opposed the move and the case will be heard again in the Auckland District Court on October 25.

Four adults and a young child died in the tourist bus crash near Rotorua on September 4.


The bus was carrying 27 people when it rolled on State Highway 5 at Ngatira, 20km northwest of the city, on a stretch of bush-edged road between Waiohotu and Galaxy Rds.

Survivors who emerged from the crash site were wrapped in blankets and comforted by police officers.

The wounded were treated for injuries at the scene and others flown to hospitals around the North Island.

Police said at the time that the bus was travelling south towards Rotorua and failed to take a moderate bend. As a result it went to the wrong side of the road, corrected and subsequently flipped.