Driver to meet family of victim

Melanie Giesinger (28) after she appeared before the Dunedin District Court. Photo: Christine O...
Melanie Giesinger (28) after she appeared before the Dunedin District Court. Photo: Christine O'Connor
A kindergarten teacher from Austria who caused a fatal crash will sit down with the family of the man she killed.

Tane Roderick
Tane Roderick
Melanie Giesinger (28) appeared before the Dunedin District Court yesterday after last week pleading to careless driving causing the death of Auckland man Tane Roderick.

Family of the victim — from around the country and Australia — packed the court's public gallery after attending his tangi earlier this week.

On February 6, the defendant was driving a Toyota Hiace van travelling northbound on State Highway 1 when she indicated to turn right into Hillgrove-Moeraki Rd.

Mr Roderick was heading south when the defendant turned into the path of his motorcycle.

He died at the scene.

Counsel Rhona Daysh said Giesinger was willing to attend a restorative justice conference with the victim's family.

And the family was keen to sit down with her.

While Giesinger's flights back to Austria were booked for the end of the month, Judge Michael Turner said: “she may need to change that".

He set sentencing for April 8.

Ms Daysh indicated there may be an application for a discharge without conviction, given the possible “implications" for her client.

She had been in touch with the Austrian consulate, she said.

Giesinger, the court heard previously, had been travelling the country with two friends when the crash occurred.

Since the incident, she has been on bail on condition she surrender her passport and refrain from driving.

Mr Roderick’s mother, Sally Wast, of Invercargill, paid tribute to her son this week.

"Tane grew up a typical teenager and did all of the things that horrified his parents.

"He was a carpenter and loved what he did, but moved into more advisory roles and was very good at what he did.’’

He had many friends and loved life, she said.

"Just over a year ago he found the love of his life and he had just celebrated his first wedding anniversary.’’

She wanted tougher rules for tourists driving in New Zealand.

The charge of careless driving causing death carries a maximum penalty of three months' imprisonment or a $4500 fine.