A man who car-jacked a vehicle from a mother with a two-year-old daughter has been arrested following a high-speed crash in West Auckland this morning.
Witnesses said it was "absolutely amazing" no one was seriously injured when the stolen car smashed head on with a ute in New Lynn.
The chaos began in Clendon about 8.45am when police received a report a car had been driven through a fence.
But once police arrived on the scene the driver sped off.
Police said a short pursuit was abandoned in Clendon when the offender headed north on Roscommon Road.
The police Eagle helicopter found the car - a maroon Honda Prelude - on Roscommon Rd being driven in an "erratic manner".
The Honda was seen going off the on-ramp at Mahunga Drive, against the traffic, and then being driven erratically in the Mangere Bridge area, before re-entering the motorway and heading north again.
Police again abandoned their pursuit, instead relying on the Eagle to track the car, who followed the car leaving the motorway and heading west up Hillsborough Rd.
According to police in the Eagle helicopter, the driver was passing vehicles any which way he could, including on the left hand side and overtaking on double yellow lines.
The car's tyres were successfully spiked by police on the intersection of Donovan and Boundary roads in Blockhouse Bay. The driver then collided with another vehicle in Kinross Rd, and pulled the driver out of that car.
Police said the woman managed to remove her two and a half year-old daughter from the back seat of the car before the offender fled towards New Lynn.
Soon after the driver collided with a ute on Portage Rd at the intersection with Hill Crescent.
Police said the Eagle directed nearby patrol cars to the crash site and the offender was arrested.
A witness told nzherald.co.nz "it looks like every police car in west Auckland is here".
Another witness, Tony Heineke, the owner of the Waikowhai Garage on Portage Rd, was working on a car when he heard the police sirens and the helicopter.
"All of a sudden I heard this car come ... down the road from the Green Bay end, and he started to speed up like you wouldn't believe.
"I'm sure he was doing 120kmh, if not more, when he went past here.
"I thought, 'my God, he's going to hit something in a minute'. And then I heard the tyres squeal a little bit for a split second and then a humungous crash.
Mr Heineke said the car crashed almost head on with a ute about 20m up the road from the garage.
"As soon as I was out there, there were three cop cars right on its tail, they've got out and run over to this white Toyota and dragged this guy out and subdued him.
"And then the cars kept coming - cop cars, undercover cars - there was about 16 of them."
Mr Heineke said the offender had drifted on to the wrong side of the road and the driver of the ute had swerved right when they collided.
"He just clipped the front of his bull bar, and sort of bounced off it onto the curb. It's just totally demolished, there's nothing left to it ... both cars."
He said the driver of the ute got out of his vehicle after the crash and was unscathed.
Mr Heineke said the offender was "dazed" after the accident.
"The cops were on to him in seconds, so he didn't have a chance to escape."
He said it was "absolutely amazing" no one was seriously injured in the accident.
The young girl in the car-jacking sustained a graze to her head, while the driver of the car was taken to Auckland Hospital with minor injuries.