A man is being questioned by police this morning after two people were killed and two others seriously injured in a crash after a police chase in an Auckland suburb last night.

Police said they pursued the car through Onehunga after reports that someone was shining a red laser beam at drivers on the Southwestern motorway.

But they say they abandoned the chase before the car crashed into a pole near the intersection of Church and Waller Sts.

St John Ambulance communications spokeswoman Olive Taylor said two people - believed to be teenagers - died at the scene and two were taken to Auckland City Hospital in a critical condition.

The car flipped upside down in the crash, just before 9pm, scattering debris across the road, before coming to rest on the footpath.

The top of it was smashed in and both bumpers were torn off.

A lamp-post about 5m away was broken. A man - believed to have been the driver of the car - fled the scene, but later gave himself up and is now cooperating with the investigation, according to Newstalk ZB.

Police said that about 8.55pm they were called to the Queenstown Rd overbridge in Onehunga because a person was shining a red laser beam at motorists travelling along the Mangere Bridge motorway.

When they arrived, a car sped away. They chased the fleeing driver for about 200 metres, before giving up the pursuit because of the dangerous way the car was being driven.

This included running a red light at speed.

The car continued for another 200 metres and crashed into a powerpole.

The road was cordoned off while more than 25 police and firefighters worked at the scene.

A 3 News cameraman said police told him the two dead teenagers survived the impact but died at the scene.

Atik Hussain told One News that he saw the car hit the roundabout, flip and slide into the post.

The number of road deaths following police chases has prompted recommendations from the Independent Police Complaints Authority (IPCA) and a coroner that the force should rethink its approach.

Fourteen people have died this year after drivers fled police.

The most recent was in Christchurch last month when Deidre Jordan, 67, and Norm Fitt, 73, died after Phillip Bannan allegedly ran a red light while fleeing police and collided with their car.

Police said Bannan, 22, was speeding and a disqualified driver.

Also in Christchurch, in July, Shannon Smiler-O'Connor, 26, died when the car in which he was a front-seat passenger crashed into a power pole in the central city.

Police said a patrol car stopped the vehicle for a routine check, but it sped away as officers approached.

Police chased the vehicle for a few streets before finding it smashed into the pole.

Driver Tama Dobson, 27, and another passenger, Kaleane Magon, 20, died later in hospital.

In March, Penelope Phillips, 51, died when her car was hit by a drunk driver fleeing a police checkpoint in Blenheim.

After a positive breath test, Frances Stubbs, 20, had refused to take an evidential test and driven off.

Stubbs slammed into Phillips' car at a roundabout.

Later in March, Israel Porter, 27, of Gordonton, was chased by police before his car crashed into a van.

During the two-minute pursuit, Porter reached speeds exceeding 100km/h in an 80km/h zone. Police abandoned the pursuit moments before he crashed and died.

Police Minister Judith Collins met Police Commissioner Howard Broad in June to discuss recommendations for police pursuits after two reviews, one by the IPCA, the other by police.

The authority report questioned whether police should start high-speed chases for minor offences.

The authority analysed 137 pursuits in the five years to December 2008 and found that 24 people were killed and 91 seriously hurt.

The report was published at the same time as a coroner's findings into the death of Peter Joseph Kotsifakis, 18, who died in July 2008 in Palmerston North after a police pursuit.

Coroner Carla na Nagara recommended police add to procedures the phrase, "Can the suspect be apprehended safely later?"

The reports provoked a strong public reaction. Many questioned why police should be blamed for the deaths when the accidents were caused by speeding drivers who refused to stop.