Police were kept busy throughout the Central Plateau yesterday as icy roads caused chaos sparking a warning for people to drive to the conditions.

As well as the crash which killed three people on Desert Rd, there were several minor crashes across the region as motorists made their way to and from work.

There were no reported injuries but some vehicles suffered minor damage.

Police said driving conditions across the region could remain hazardous for the next 24 hours, and urged motorists to take extra care on the roads.


District command centre Senior Sergeant Karl Konlechner said the first thing to keep an eye on in cold conditions were the road conditions.

"Slow down, watch travelling conditions, avoid heavy breaking and heavy acceleration as both can cause the car to lose traction in icy conditions."

Mr Konlechner said it was important to be aware of your own experience and to delay your travel until temperatures had warmed up if you weren't confident driving in ice.

"Be aware of shady and damp areas, not all ice is visible, and check the condition of your car and tires."

He recommended using public transport if you were not confident in difficult conditions.

"We often have calls about ice on the State Highway between here [Rotorua] and Taupo and anywhere travelling up onto the Central Plateau, especially through the forest as some of the ice doesn't melt at all there."

He said to avoid non-essential travel, but if you had to drive, go slowly, extend following distances, be patient and allow extra time for your journeys.

Staying safe
- Reduce speed before corners
- Accelerate slowly
- Give yourself plenty of room to stop safely
- Watch out for shadows
- Drive to the conditions
- Plan your trip with plenty of time