New Zealand's oddball "give way" road rules changing this month

By John Walton, March 15 2012
New Zealand's oddball

If you're travelling to New Zealand from the end of March, watch out on the roads. The odd Kiwi give way rule at intersections is changing to bring it back into line with the rest of the world from 25 March.

It's complicated to explain because the soon-to-be-old NZ rule feels very strange, as many frequent business travellers to New Zealand will know.

Basically, if you were turning and traffic wanted to turn across you, you (not they) had to give way to that turning traffic.

The easiest way to explain is the video from the NZ Transport Agency, so have a watch:

The new rules will cover intersections, and a similar "priority to the main road" rule will cover T-junctions and driveways too. So beware when you're pulling out of that rental car park at the airport.

Changes will come into effect from 5am on 25 March, so the take-home message for Australians is this: if you've never driven in NZ before, ignore what you've heard about the turn rules. If you have, be aware of the changes and be extra careful at intersections, since many Kiwis may be learning to live with them.

For more information (or if you're still not up to speed), check out the NZ Transport Agency's new give way rules site.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jul 2011

Total posts 186

We had the same rule (the old one) in Victoria when I learnt to drive, then it changed.  Funny how memory works - last year in NZ it was natural for me to drive the "old way".

Have fun with insurance claims following the change tho :-)

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on New Zealand's oddball "give way" road rules changing this month