New Zealand's worrying trend

WELLINGTON // The New Zealand Labour opposition has criticised the country's conservative government over the reduction of road policing vehicles by 73 in the past year. Over the same period, the death toll in New Zealand's roads increased by by 4.9 per cent. "Of course, no one can say that last year's increased road toll - up 19 to 384 - was directly caused by fewer police vehicles on the road, but given that in 2008 the road toll actually fell by 66, there's a trend there that gives no comfort whatsoever," says Darien Fenton, the opposition's transport safety spokesperson. In the same week, two New Zealand police officers came under fire for doing figure-of-eights and drifting with children in their cars at a school fundraising event last year. The footage has emerged on YouTube. However, New Zealand police minister Judith Collins defended the officers involved, describing their actions as "just a bit of fun".