A young woman is dead after the car she was driving crashed into a stream during a police pursuit in Rotorua.

Rotorua Area Commander Inspector Bruce Horne said the woman died just after midnight.

"Shortly before the crash police had seen the vehicle being driven through an intersection erratically and at speed," Horne said.

"A police patrol attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver continued at speed along Tarewa Road."


About 1km down the road the driver failed to negotiate a moderate bend.

"The vehicle has become airborne, travelled over the bank of a stream and then collided with the berm on the far side of the stream," said Horne.

"The driver was pronounced dead at the scene."

There were three passengers in the car. All suffered minor injuries.

"This is a tragedy for the families involved and our thoughts are with them at this time," Horne said.

"Serious crashes are also heart-breaking for police staff and those from other emergency services.

"This incident highlights the risk of driving at speed and the tragic consequences that can result when a driver refuses to stop and instead chooses to evade the police."

An investigation into the crash is ongoing.

The matter has also been referred to the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

All pursuits that result in crash or injury must be referred to the independent body for investigation.'Young' woman killed in Rotorua pursuit crash