The driver of a stolen Ford Mustang valued at $81,000 who lead police on a 64km chase has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs to such an extent he was incapable of having proper control of the vehicle.

Robert George Forth, 49, of Kensington, appeared briefly in Whangārei District Court yesterday before two Justices of the Peace and was remanded in custody to make another appearance on Monday before a judge.

Forth was arrested on Wednesday after the stolen Mustang he was allegedly driving was spiked near Kaiwaka after the vehicle was initially spotted by police in Whangārei about 8.20am and failed to stop. The Mustang was stolen from a Kawakawa property on Tuesday.

Forth, who was flanked by a police officer and a security guard in the dock, also faces charges of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, failing to stop for police, dangerous driving, resisting police and possession of methamphetamine.


He was jointly charged with 38-year-old Jessica Kapiri Matene, of Raumanga, and Joseph Hohepa Potter, 35, Morningside, with unlawful possession of a pistol - a sawn off shot gun.

The trio also face a charge of unlawful possession of explosives - 100 .22 rounds and seven shotgun rounds.

Potter also faces charges of unlawful possession of a sawn off shotgun and unlawfully getting into a motor vehicle. He was also remanded in custody to appear on Monday.

Matene, will also appear on again on Monday, on the joint charges as well as unlawfully getting into a motor vehicle.

Police spiked the fleeing vehicle in Kaiwaka and it stopped in a gravel pit near Schiska Rd, Topuni, leading into a forestry block about 9.10am. Two people were arrested but a third had disappeared into the nearby bush.

The Auckland-based Police Eagle helicopter was called in and was able to direct a police dog and handler to the third person in gorse about 20m away from the Mustang.

The latest police statistics show Northland tops the number of pursuits per month with 8.67 per 100,000 people.