Police officers were justified in pursuing and using a police dog to arrest a group of people who had stolen cars and burgled a liquor store in Christchurch.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority released its decision on the incident today.
Shortly after 1am on November 11, 2019, four offenders broke into a liquor store, stealing a large quantity of alcohol.
The group used two cars and both drivers fled.
A subsequent pursuit was abandoned due to the risk it posed to members of the public.
An hour later, the offenders were located behind a different liquor store. They left when they saw a patrol car arrive.
Officers followed the two cars at road speed for eight minutes before using road spikes to puncture their tyres.
The cars split up, so were pursued separately and the two occupants of one car were apprehended a short time later when they tried to escape on foot.
The driver of the other car, which had three passengers, drove on the wrong side of the road and struggled to control the car as its tyres disintegrated.
He rammed a patrol car when it moved in front of him.
After pursuing the car for three-and-a-half minutes, a civilian's car approached in the oncoming lane.
As the potential for a collision increased, police nudged the fleeing car off the road, bringing it to a stop.
The IPCA said a police dog handler arrived at the scene and believed the driver had assaulted one officer and saw him struggling with another one.
Fearing this officer may be injured, the dog handler used his dog to latch onto the man's leg while they brought him under control.
The man was bitten twice on the leg during the arrest.
Officers provided him with appropriate medical care, the IPCA found.
The man later claimed he was kicked by the officers but the authority found this to be untrue.
Authority found police officers did not kick the man as he was lying on the ground, as he claimed.
In its decision, the IPCA says the use of spikes and a dog to overcome the offender was justified.
It was reasonable for an officer to position himself in front of the car in an attempt to slow it down, and he was justified in using a controlled collision to stop it.
"I am satisfied the officers involved in the pursuit and the arrest conducted sound, ongoing assessments of the risks and made appropriate tactical decisions, given the circumstances," said authority chair, Judge Colin Doherty.