A French tourist who almost killed his wife and seriously injured himself and two others when he drove on the wrong side of the road, says he will return to New Zealand one day but will never drive here again.
Stephane Yoan Mazerat has been ordered to pay almost $19,000 reparation to two of his victims before he can leave the country.
The 29-year-old research engineer from northern France said he was surprised at the lack of information given to him and wife Isabelle when they hired an Ezi rental car from Auckland Airport in late December.
The couple had been in the country two weeks and were on their honeymoon when Mazerat collided with Maria Tairawhiti and her three passengers, including two children, after driving on the right-hand side of the road on January 5.
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The smash at Awakino on State Highway 3 left Mrs Mazerat, also 29, with life threatening internal, spinal and nerve injuries, and she has endured 11 operations since.
Mazerat suffered numerous fractures and head injuries causing ongoing amnesia. He cannot remember the accident and attended his sentencing at the Hamilton District Court yesterday in a wheelchair.
Miss Tairawhiti broke her ankle, and injured a knee and her chest while her front seat passenger dislocated vertebrae and has lower back pain.
In February Mazerat pleaded guilty to three charges of dangerous driving causing injury.
Judge Simon Menzies said it was obvious Mazerat had "reverted to your instincts as a European driver" when he pulled out from a service station.
Outside court Miss Tairawhiti, who was awarded $10,376, said she was pleased with the outcome but believed tourist drivers should be tested. Her front seat passenger will get $8351.