Armed police are searching for a man who abandoned a stolen car after a police chase in Lower Hutt this morning.

Police said the 32-year-old failed to stop and fled the stolen vehicle on Coast Rd in a remote part of Wainuiomata about 8.40am today.

Senior Sergeant Steve Braybrook said 12 police units, including a dog handler, were now searching the area.

"Police are aware that the male has access to firearms so are taking every precaution. We are up in the bush at the moment searching for the male."

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Police said anyone in the area who saw a tall, thin Caucasian man wearing a light coloured shirt and dark trousers should not approach him and should contact police immediately.