'Hero' Uber driver could be forced out of NZ

Harpal Kang and Lisa Kottke (supplied)
Harpal Kang and Lisa Kottke (supplied)

An Uber driver who carried a US couple from Auckland to Wellington in the aftermath of a cyclone could have to leave the country.

Harpal Kang was hailed as a "hero" after he drove Lisa Kottke and her husband to Wellington on March 29, after they landed in Auckland.

They had a critical business meeting in Wellington which couldn't be rescheduled, according to NZME, so when ex-Cyclone Debbie grounded all planes, they turned to Uber.

The epic road trip was around 650km long and cost $1033 - and potentially, it could cost Mr Kang his job.

Commercial drivers are only allowed to drive for a maximum of 13 hours in a day, and take a break for 30 minutes every five and a half hours, according to NZTA rules.

But Mr Kang's monster drive was a solid 16.5 hours. While it meant Ms Kottke arrived to her meeting in time, it's set NZTA fuming.

He's been told to bring in his logbooks to NZTA and told NZME he could face a fine or court.

If it goes to court, he'll instead leave the country.

"I told them, I'm not going to court again. I've already been to court one time, and it wasn't a good experience for me," he said.

According to NZME, he had faced court problems last year, not long after he started driving for Uber, due to other problems with his logbook.

Ms Kottke may have called him a "hero" for helping her to her meeting on time, but it may have cost Mr Kang his job.