A fleeing driver, who took police on a high-speed chase around several streets in Tauranga before crashing into a patrol car, says he did not stop because he was "coming off P".

The vehicle Moses William Tapine, 43, of Auckland, was driving during the almost 30-minute pursuit belonged to his employer Speedy Couriers.

Tapine pleaded guilty to four charges in the Tauranga District Court today.

The charges were male assaults female, failing to stop for police, reckless driving and unlawful conversion of a motor vehicle.

The latter charge attracts a maximum penalty of seven years' prison.


The police summary of facts revealed that on August 1 this year Tapine got into an argument with his partner and punched her about four times around the head and face.

The victim, who suffered bruising around her right eye and a painful head, only managed to get away from Tapine the next day after she persuaded him to take her to the bank.

Later the same day Tapine, who had a black Mazda Demio belonging to his employer Speedy Couriers failed to return it despite being repeatedly asked to do so.

The vehicle was reported stolen after Tapine drove it to Tauranga.

About 12.04pm police spotted the vehicle in Welcome Bay Rd, but Tapine sped off and entered a shopping area carpark the wrong way, before exiting on to the same road again.

He then headed towards Tauranga reaching speeds of up to 112km/h in the 60km/h zone and overtook several vehicles.

As he entered the roundabout with Welcome Bay Rd and State Highway 29, Tapine drove through two amber traffic lights and increased his speed to 160 km/h along SH29.

While doing so he was overtaking and undertaking vehicles.


Police tried to stop the car before Te Maunga roundabout and laid road spikes, but Tapine swerved left into gravel, and continued on to SH2 heading towards Papamoa.

Tapine reached speeds of 140km/h before entering the Domain Rd roundabout, and back on to SH2 heading towards Tauranga.

As he was driving past Kairua Rd off ramp, Tapine suddenly swerved on to the grass verge and entered the road the wrong way.

Tapine's speed was clocked at 120km/h, 40 km/h over the speed limit before he turned right on Welcome Bay Rd again driving back towards Tauranga.

Driving at more than 60km/h past two primary schools and a busy shopping area, the Mazda Demio crashed into a stationary patrol car as Tapine tried to avoid road spikes.

Tapine told police he was "coming off P" and that was why he did not stop, and that was also the reason why he hit his partner after he "just lost it".

Judge David Cameron remanded Tapine in custody for sentencing on October 2.