A man who allegedly led police on a chase south of Taupo that ended when he dived into a river said he didn't wear clothes for his court appearance because they were "wet".

Mayva Waraki Rangi, 39, from Turangi, appeared in the Rotorua District Court today facing six charges.

Police say Rangi yesterday stole a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter valued at $50,000 from Alsco New Zealand in Taupo, failed to stop for police and drove recklessly.

He is also charged with three counts of entering buildings with intent to commit crimes on December 5 on Luke Place in Rotorua, December 6 on Preston Rd in Ngongotaha and December 7 on Amokura St in Rotorua.


Rangi, who wore no clothes on his top half, appeared via audiovisual link before Judge John Macdonald.

When Judge Macdonald asked where his clothes were, he said "they are wet".

Sergeant Steve Coleman told the judge Rangi jumped into the river yesterday to evade police which is why his clothes were wet.

But Judge Macdonald said Rangi needed clothes.

"I would expect him to be dressed in some way when appearing in court," the judge said.

Judge Macdonald remanded Rangi in custody to reappear in the Taupo District Court tomorrow for a bail application.

Police said last night that the driving charges came after police were notified of a stolen vehicle and tried to stop it.

Police spiked the vehicle three times between Taupo and Turangi, with the driver allegedly jumping off a bridge at the entrance to Turangi and into a river to evade arrest.