The driver of a bus that crashed on Christmas Eve, killing three people, has appeared in court for the first time.
There were 53 people on the bus when it plunged down a steep bank south of Gisborne last year.
The group was a school brass band on a month-long fundraising tour from Tonga.
Talakai Aholelei, who is 65, faces 27 charges of careless driving causing injury and three counts of careless driving causing death.
Mr Aholelei appeared in the Manukau District Court this morning with his family and members of the Tongan community, but entered no plea.
He was remanded on bail to appear again next month.