The head of the police watchdog body is again calling for a rethink on pursuit policy after two more deaths from high-speed smashes.

Justice Lowell Goddard, QC, who chairs the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA), said threats to public safety were important enough to merit an ongoing review of pursuit policy.

She said the recommendations of an IPCA review were still being discussed with police.

"The IPCA is concerned to ensure the safety of not only innocent third parties such as other motorists or pedestrians, but also the police officers themselves, and the driver and passengers of the vehicle being pursued."

Police Commissioner Howard Broad said this year that the policy needed only minor tweaking.

There have been 2057 pursuits so far this year and 18 people have died - including two in less than 24 hours at the weekend.

Api Kao Aue, 33, died instantly when the car he drove hit a sign in Mangere on Saturday night.

A woman died in hospital from injuries she received when she was thrown from a car fleeing police in Botany on Sunday. Five others were injured in those two crashes.

Police Minister Judith Collins yesterday said police would not stop chasing people because the practice of driving off would become more common.

"We have a few instances where people refuse to stop - obviously they have got something they don't want to talk to police about - and I'm not going to stand by and ask police to wave goodbye to them as they continue down a criminal path."

She said police could not ignore people breaking the law and dropping pursuits would mean later arrests might not result in successful prosecutions because offenders would argue someone else was driving.

Prime Minister John Key said a society couldn't exist where people decided to take the law into their own hands and run from the police with no consequences.

"But clearly the balancing act here is to make sure it doesn't unduly put at risk the lives of innocent New Zealanders."

The head of road policing, Superintendent Paula Rose, is to meet Automobile Association officials today to discuss the pursuits.

AA public affairs manager Simon Lambourne said the association was becoming more and more concerned with the rising number of deaths. "It's almost 5 per cent of our road toll annually."

A police spokeswoman said the meeting was planned before the weekend crashes.

Police Association president Greg O'Connor called for cars to be crushed and the maximum fine available - $10,000 - to be handed out to those who fled police.

"The courts have to play a part. People absolutely have to know if they fail to stop there will be dire consequences."

The focus had to be on changing driver behaviour. "Their first thought has got to be "well if I don't stop I'm in real trouble".

Mr Key said one option for the Government would be to look at the penalty involved for someone who flees from a police pursuit.

Dangerous road
* 2057 chases this year

* 18 deaths

* 30 per cent of cars fleeing police are stolen

- additional reporting: Claire Trevett, NZPA