Two women have been seriously injured after another woman driving the car they were in fled police, sparking a pursuit, acting Northland district police commander Inspector Rikki Whiu says.
Two men in an oncoming vehicle struck by the out of control car received minor injuries in the crash on State Highway 10 near Kaingaroa, about 15km north-east of Kaitaia.
The pursuit began about 5.30pm today when Kaitaia police on a routine patrol attempted to stop a vehicle near Awanui, Whiu said.
"The car initially stopped, but then drove off before officers could speak with the driver and occupants, resulting in police pursuing the vehicle along SH 10 towards Taipa for about 7km.
"Unfortunately the driver lost control near Kaingaroa and hit a steel barrier on the side of the road, and then careered into the path of an oncoming vehicle."
The driver, a 35-year-old Kaitaia woman, has been arrested for failing to stop for police, Whiu said.
Further charges are likely after she failed a roadside breath test and enquiries revealed the woman was believed to be breaching electronic bail, he said.
She was taken to Kaitaia Hospital for a medical check and further blood alcohol procedures.
Her two female passengers, a 27-year-old and 28-year-old also from Kaitaia, suffered serious injuries.
One was taken to Kaitaia Hospital by ambulance, the other was flown to Auckland Hospital.
The two injured men also received medical attention.
Part of SH10 was closed following the crash so the Serious Crash Unit could do a scene examination, but was expected to have reopened by 10pm.
A Police investigation into the incident has begun, and the Independent Police Conduct Authority will be notified, Whiu said.
"We want to remind drivers that if you're asked to pull over by police, please stop. The risk of fleeing police can result in serious injury or death, which we are trying to avoid.
"The risk of not stopping is not worth your safety, your passengers' safety, or that of other road users."