A motorcyclist who failed to stop for police in Auckland tonight spent a fruitless hour and a half wading in the Waitemata Harbour in an attempt to get away.

A police patrol chased the motorcyclist on the Northwestern Motorway just after 7pm, before he abandoned his bike in Avondale and fled into the sea.

He waded in chest deep water, but was watched by police the whole time.

The police Eagle helicopter coordinated officers on the ground, who waited patiently until he eventually came ashore, cold and very muddy.

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He was arrested and charged with failing to stop for police.