An elderly man who suffered a heart attack while he and his wife were driving on the motorway has been brought back from the brink of death by quick-thinking police officers.

On Monday, Detective Dan McDermott and Constable Natalie Hicks from Auckland's Harbour Bridge Police base were on their way to a job when they saw a vehicle had pulled over on the motorway just north of the bridge.

An 89-year-old man who was travelling with his wife had just suffered a cardiac arrest and was unresponsive, police said in a statement. Two members of the public also stopped to help.

The officers quickly called for assistance and began CPR, with the help of an off-duty nurse.

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More police quickly arrived, bringing a defibrillator from the police base. By the time it was used on the man he had been unresponsive for eight minutes.

But when the man received his first shock from the defibrillator - wielded by Detective Sergeant Callum McNeill - he started to breathe on his own.

Police visited the man in hospital 24 hours later and said they were "pleased to report that our friend was doing much better when we visited".

"He's already been discharged from hospital and tells us he's looking forward to celebrating his 90th birthday which is right around the corner."