A 27-year-old man is dead after a car, driven by a disqualified driver, fled police and crashed into a group of shops in South Auckland.

St John Ambulance said a person was killed and a second person badly injured in the smash, which happened about 3am on the corner of Mangere and Walmsley Rds in Otahuhu.

Police later confirmed the passenger of the vehicle who died at the scene was a 27-year-old man from Counties Manukau.

The 29-year-old disqualified driver remains in Middlemore Hospital in a stable condition.

"Police cannot rule out the possibility that charges will be laid against him. However we are not in a position to comment on specifics while enquiries are ongoing," police said.

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The road has now been reopened, but the Serious Crash Unit and a senior detective are investigating.

Police have also referred the matter to the IPCA, as is standard practice.

Police earlier said a Honda was seen doing a burnout on Mangere Rd last night but it sped off.

Police followed the vehicle for a short distance but lost sight of it before Gray Ave, near Middlemore Hospital.

The wrecked Honda was found a little further down the same road crashed into a row of shops, which locals say includes a laundromat, baker and a barber shop, at the intersection of Mangere and Walmsley Rds.

It appears the car crossed a traffic island and slammed head-on into the shops.

Locals told the Herald there was another fatal crash at the intersection several years ago.

A man who lives opposite the shops said he was woken by the sound of a "ricochet" about 2.45am, then heard a loud bang. He said sirens could be heard nearby within minutes.

Police officers at the scene of the crash at the intersection of Mangere and Walmsley Roads. Photo / Sam Hurley
Police officers at the scene of the crash at the intersection of Mangere and Walmsley Roads. Photo / Sam Hurley

The union that represents police officers is calling for more serious consequences for people who speed off from police.

"There aren't appropriate consequences for fleeing from police," Police Association president Chris Cahill said.

"If that person was committing an offence they'd get a bigger penalty for that than for failing to stop.

"If people knew there were more consequences for failing to stop, they'd be more likely to pull over."