Canterbury residents have been asked to increase security after a man fled from police into the bush.

The incident happened near Hanmer Springs about 5pm yesterday, police spokeswoman Barbara Dunn said.

The man, who was driving a Toyota Platz vehicle reached speeds exceeding 100km/h as he fled from police who were waiting near the Maruia Falls.

The vehicle was stopped with road spikes and the driver ran into dense bush, Ms Dunn said.

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"Police dogs from Nelson and Greymouth were called to track the man but he was not located last night."

Police have advised residents in the area to increase security until the person involved was located, she said.

The man's vehicle had been seized and was being examined today.