Police complied with the law during a car chase last year that ended with the death of a young Wanganui woman when she smashed her car into a tree in Gonville, a report says.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority released a report on Thursday into the death of Ayla Nelson-Boyd who drove her car despite having had her keys confiscated when caught drink-driving.

The two-minute police chase began when officers saw that her car seemed overloaded with six passengers. They signalled her to pull over, only to have her accelerate away from them.

The pursuit on November 16 went about 3.7km and at speeds of up to 90km/h in a residential area.


When police turned into Swiss Ave they saw the car had hit a tree, and immediately requested an ambulance.

Miss Nelson-Boyd was killed instantly and her passengers were all injured.

"This was a pursuit which lasted just over two minutes in a residential, well-lit area of Wanganui," said Independent Police Conduct Authority chairman, Judge Sir David Carruthers.

"Police complied with the law and police policy in commencing the pursuit and regularly assessed the level of risk throughout the pursuit."

The report outlined how Miss Nelson-Boyd, 21, a learner-driver, had failed a breath test at a police checkpoint.

Central District police commander Superintendent Russell Gibson said she was forbidden to drive for 12 hours and her car keys were taken to the station until a sober person could retrieve them.

Miss Nelson-Boyd found more keys, though, and drove six friends - aged between 17 and 21 - to a party in Bulls.

After the car was driven back to Wanganui from the party, police noticed the angle of its headlights, indicating it was overloaded in the back.


"While in these instances the authority has not found any breaches of police policy, the authority is continuing its discussions with police about a review of policies connected with the pursuit of fleeing drivers," Sir David said.