Police were not at fault in two fatal pursuits in which three people were killed last year, the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) has found.
The authority's reports, released today, found police followed proper procedure and acted lawfully in pursuing two 20-year-old drivers who fled police in Blenheim and Auckland.
In the Auckland pursuit, 20-year-old passengers Jaycheree Makakea and Joseph Tawhai were killed and two others seriously injured after a Honda Integra crashed into a power pole in Church St, Onehunga, about 9.51pm on September 17, 2010.
Driver Aaron Tulafono, 20, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to six-and-a-half years prison in February this year.
In the Blenheim pursuit, 51-year-old Penelope Rae Phillips was killed after her car was struck on the driver's side by a Toyota Corolla driven by Frances Carol Stubbs, 20, who was fleeing a police alcohol checkpoint about 9.45pm on March 19, 2010.
Stubbs was 40mg over the legal blood alcohol limit of 80mg per 100ml of blood.
She pleaded guilty to excess blood alcohol causing death and was sentenced to eight months home detention and 160 hours of community work in August last year. She was also disqualified from driving for three-and-a-half years.
The Auckland pursuit began after police tried to stop Tulafono to speak to the Honda's occupants about reports of a laser being pointed at motorists from an overbridge.
Tulafono ignored the patrol car's warning lights and sped off, despite protests from his passengers.
The officers then took chase and informed the police communications centre they had started a pursuit, but failed to acknowledge the communications centre's warning as required.
The Honda reached speeds of up to 130kmh along Church St before running a red light at Selwyn St, after which police abandoned pursuit, telling the communications centre it was too dangerous.
The Honda then lost control, striking a traffic island and flying through the air before slamming into an aluminium lamp post. It then slammed into a concrete power pole and came to rest on its roof.
The 2.1km pursuit lasted 1 minute and 35 seconds.
Police were unable to establish whether the Honda's occupants had been involved in the laser incident, but the IPCA nevertheless found police were justified in giving chase.
It found police complied with the pursuit policy in terms of contact with the communications centre, except for "minor oversights'' in acknowledging its warning.
The police car reached speeds of up to 109kmh on Church St, but not for long enough to breach policy, and the decision to break off the pursuit was sound.
The authority noted that Tulafono had demonstrated he was prepared to take "great risks'' to avoid being caught by police.
In the Blenheim pursuit, police gave chase after Stubbs failed a breath test at an alcohol checkpoint on Alfred St.
The officer called out to his colleagues that the driver had done "a runner'' and gave pursuit down Hutcheson St, about 75m from the checkpoint.
Stubbs accelerated to 75kmh before she noticed Ms Phillips' car passing through at the roundabout at Nelson St. She slammed on the brakes too late and the cars collided, killing Ms Phillips.
The 400m chase lasted just 15 seconds.
Both families raised concerns that police did not remove Stubbs' keys from the ignition at the checkpoint, but the IPCA found police would not have been justified in doing so.
The officer was justified in giving chase and complied with policy in relation to speed and manner of driving, the authority said.
The officer did not notify police communications that he had given pursuit, but the IPCA found it was not practicable for the officer to do so, given the short duration of the chase.
The IPCA made no recommendations in relation to either pursuit.