A driver who allegedly lead police on a chase from the Waikato into the Western Bay of Plenty before the pursuit dramatically ended at the foot of the Tauranga Harbour Bridge this morning has been arrested.

Senior Sergeant Carl Purcell said Western Bay of Plenty police were involved in the stopping of a fleeing driver in Merrilees Rd Tauranga at about 5.30am.

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A man originally contacted Te Aroha police reporting their neighbour's boat was being stolen.


The man then followed the vehicle involved until police arrived.

Mr Purcell said Te Aroha police activated their blue and red lights and siren but the vehicle refused to stop, fleeing from police.

The fleeing driver drove over the Kaimai Range followed by police units from Te Aroha, Cambridge and Matamata, they were joined by Western Bay of Plenty police.

Mr Purcell said the tyres of the stolen vehicle and boat trailer were deflated using spikes.

However, the driver continued driving even when the tyres on the boat trailer had been shredded and were riding on the rims, as were two of the tyres on the vehicle, Mr Purcell said.

The fleeing driver, who was the sole occupant, was finally stopped on Merrilees Rd, having been pushed to the side of the road by a police vehicle as it attempted to get onto an Harbour Bridge on-ramp.

The stolen vehicle suffered damage to the tyres and rims. There was minimal damage to the police vehicle.

Mr Purcell said there were no injuries to the driver or police staff.

A 48-year-old old man will appear in Tauranga District Court later this morning charged with Reckless Driving, Failing to stop, Driving whilst suspended, Theft and Unlawful taking.

The vehicle used to tow the boat had been stolen in January of this year from a Thames address.