A 10-year-old terrier-cross dog that attacked a child at an address near Hihi last week was surrendered to the Far North District Council by its owner, and was destroyed.

The child was taken to Kaitaia Hospital — after a dramatic journey from Hihi that ended with the car being spiked by police on SH10 — and was subsequently transferred to Starship Children's Hospital in Auckland with facial injuries.

The council's environmental services manager, Darren Edwards, confirmed animal management staff had removed and destroyed the dog, which had been with the family all its life.

No further action would be taken because no one outside the family was involved, and no complaint had been laid.


However, the police became involved after the car in which the child was being taken to Kaitaia stopped at Cable Bay. The driver, believed to be a member of the child's family, spoke briefly to a police patrol before continuing.

He stopped at Taipa so other other family members, who according to police were frightened by the manner in which he was driving, could get out of the car. After almost colliding head-on with a campervan the car was pursued by police, at speeds of up to 140km/h, towards Kaitaia.

The pursuit was abandoned because of the danger involved, but Kaitaia police used spikes to stop the car at California Hill, outside Awanui.

Police took the child and her father the rest of the way to Kaitaia Hospital.

A police spokesman said the situation had obviously been an emergency, but the erratic and dangerous manner in which the car had been driven had endangered not only the occupants but others on the road.

Charges against the driver were pending.