A 28-year-old has died after the vehicle he was a passenger in crashed while fleeing police in South Auckland overnight, police say.

The incident happened on Boundary Road in Otara, just before 10pm.

The driver of the vehicle allegedly fled when police signalled him to stop during an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) operation on Puhinui Rd.

The vehicle crashed into another car and flipped - trapping both its occupants, police said.


The driver of that vehicle and the driver of the car that was crashed into were hospitalised for treatment.

Superintendent John Tims of Counties/Manukau police said the "senseless tragedy" could have been prevented had the driver of the car chosen to stop when signalled to do so, instead of choosing to flee from police.

"What we have now is one family coming to grips with the loss of a loved one and another sitting bedside in the hope their loved one will recover from critical injuries.

"As a matter of course, the matter has been referred to the IPCA (Independent Police Conduct Authority)."

A criminal investigation, which would be overseen by an independent police investigator had also begun, Mr Tims said.

Police would also carry out a practise and policy review, he said.