Three people have serious injuries after the car they were in crashed during a police chase.
Police have revealed the car was linked to an incident in Hastings early this morning where a man and woman were seriously assaulted at a house.
The crash happened later today as the car being pursued hit police road spikes and veered off the road, hitting a tree.
Police said in a statement two men entered a Hastings house and seriously assaulted the occupants about 4.30am.
A man and woman in their early 20s suffered broken elbows, a broken wrist and finger and a suspected fractured eye socket.
One of the offenders used a wooden bat or pole. Property belonging to the victims was also taken during the incident, the statement said.
The offenders then left the area in a stolen vehicle, a silver Nissan Primera sedan registration AAN887.
That vehicle was seen by a member of the public in Napier and its driver fled from police.
The chase, which lasted about four to five minutes, was abandoned for safety reasons.
A second pursuit of the same vehicle started near Taupo about 11.45am after the driver failed to stop for police.
Road spikes were deployed. The vehicle hit the spikes and veered off the road and into a tree.
Sergeant Steve Denny of Taupo police said the pursuit started near Waimihia Fire Station, on the Napier-Taupo highway (State Highway 5), about 25km east of Taupo.
The car had three people inside and Taupo firefighters had to cut them free. Mr Denny said all three suffered serious injuries. Two were taken to Waikato Hospital and the third to Rotorua Hospital.
Two officers in the pursuing vehicle were in shock and had been taken back to Taupo police station to be debriefed, Mr Denny said.
The highway was down to a single lane with a stop-go system operating while crash analysts investigated the scene.
A reporter at the scene said there were eight police cars, two fire engines and an ambulance at the crash.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority will be advised of the incident.
Three people have been cut free from the car and taken away by St John Ambulance.
A reporter at the scene said two of the patients were men and the third was a woman.
Taupo police are at the scene of a crash near the roundabout between State Highway 5 (Napier Taupo Rd) and Mountain Rd.
A witness at the scene has told the Rotorua Daily Post they had seen a silver car pass them at speed earlier. The witness said the car was being chased by police.
A Rotorua Daily Post reporter at the scene Laurilee McMichael said a car had gone off the road, down a bank and into bushes.
The crashed car could not be seen from the road.
She said there were eight police cars, two fire engines and an ambulance at the scene.
She said it looked as though the fire crew was in the process of retrieving the people in the car using machinery.
The witness told the newspaper they were travelling along the Napier Taupo Rd towards Taupo shortly before the crash and had been passed by a silver Nissan at speed.
The witness, a tourist from Western Australia, said police passed them shortly afterwards.
The witness said the silver car and the police car then disappeared ahead of them into fog. A short time later they came across the crash scene.
Senior Sergeant Mike Membery said the crash had only just happened and he had few details.
He could not confirm if the police had been chasing the car or whether the car was speeding.
Meanwhile, Mr Membery said if people were able to avoid the area it would be helpful.