Electronic stability control will become mandatory for all vehicles imported to New Zealand to increase safety on the country's roadways, a government official announced.

Associate Transport Minister Michael Woodhouse called the technology "the most significant advance in vehicle safety since the seatbelt" in a press release.

"Mandating this technology will significantly improve road safety in New Zealand," Woodhouse said. "Research indicates ESC can reduce the risk of crashing as a result of lost control by around 30 percent."