In an escapade almost worthy of the cult movie Goodbye Pork Pie - a large man driving a small yellow car led police on a chase through the rural Bay of Islands before ditching his wheels and legging it over farmland.

The pursuit began near Waipapa about 8.30am on Friday when an officer tried to stop the driver of a Suzuki Swift which had been clocked doing 112km/h in a 100km/h zone. The relatively minor offence would have led to an $80 fine at most.

Instead of pulling over, however, the driver allegedly fled south on State Highway 10 at speed, then turned on to Waimate North Rd and finally on to unsealed, dead-end Okokako Rd. Pursuing police clocked the aptly named Swift at 159km/h in an 80km/h zone on SH10.

The driver, described as a solidly built Pakeha in his 40s, abandoned the bright yellow Swift near the end of Okokako Rd and fled on foot.


Sergeant Tony Dunckley, of the Mid North road policing unit, said an officer gave chase on foot but called for a dog unit when the alleged offender disappeared into bush.

Local police cordoned off the area until a police dog and handler located the driver a short distance from his vehicle.

The man sustained a dog bite to his calf and was taken to Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa, then to Whangarei Hospital for minor surgery.

The Mid North man, aged in his mid-40s, was charged with failing to stop and reckless driving. His car had been impounded for 28 days.

Mr Dunckley was at a loss to understand why the driver didn't just stop when first signalled to pull over for a relatively minor offence.

''In explanation, he said he didn't know either. He obviously panicked.''

Mr Dunckley urged anyone signalled to pull over by police to do so rather than putting other road users in danger and making things worse for themselves.

''He put a lot of people at risk with his erratic and reckless driving, for what appeared to be a minor infringement,'' he said.

Police enquiries are continuing, including into whether alcohol or drugs were involved.

In the 1981 classic Kiwi movie Goodbye Pork Pie two friends driving a yellow mini are chased by police much of the way from Kaitaia to Invercargill.