Foreign driver charged over hitting Newshub journalist


Police have charged the driver who allegedly hit Newshub journalist Karen Rutherford and killed her daughter's horse last month.

Police say a 28-year-old Chinese national, who had been in New Zealand for a short time on a student visa, has been charged with Careless Driving Causing Injury.

He will appear in the North Shore District Court next week.

Ms Rutherford and her 13-year-old daughter Ella were riding the family's two horses at the edge of a rural road in Dairy Flat, north of Auckland, when Mrs Rutherford was struck head-on.

Curious George, the horse she was riding, died at the scene.

Ms Rutherford has been discharged from hospital, but faces a second operation and months of rehabilitation for head and leg injuries.

Last month she shared an emotional video to her Facebook page from a hospital bed.

"I went flying through the air and I hit that windscreen with an almighty force. But when I opened my eyes in that ditch, I just thought 'wow, I'm alive. This is cool, I'm OK'. Then the panic set in," Ms Rutherford said.

In August, John Key called Ms Rutherford's accident a "tragedy", but ruled out forcing tourists to pass a driving test - saying it would cause "retaliatory" action against Kiwis wanting to drive overseas.

Official figures from the Ministry of Transport show foreign drivers caused 19 deaths last year, 113 serious injuries and 616 minor injuries.