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Car crash - treated like criminals ?

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Hi

Got friends of friends who had a car crash in NZ.
What I heard is
- they were driving on the right side of the road
- crash involved another car
- light injuries on both side

Now what I don't get
Friends of friends are not allowed to come back
They must go to court
Seems that NZ is fed up with tourists having road accidents.
The source I talked to is reliable but seems strange to me.
Might be elements missing or is it standard to be treated somehow like criminals for a simple car crash ?

Ps : I am not a troll, I am a frequent poster on Europe and we have a longstanding dream to spend long vacation in Australia/NZ including a car.

Mvg.

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