A woman in red wearing a Santa hat may find herself on Santa's naughty list.

Police were called to the Whangarei Hospital at 1.19pm after reports that a "female driver dressed in a Santa outfit" allegedly hit a barrier at the entrance to the hospital.

Police said the driver, a 59-year-old woman, got out of the vehicle and fled, leaving the vehicle stuck on a barrier.

Two officers were talking to a woman on Maunu Rd when, wearing a Santa hat and festive red, she walked off.

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A low speed pursuit ensued with the officers walking briskly after the woman, who stopped.

She was heard telling them "I can still drive, I've been driving for years."

The woman was handcuffed and taken away in the police car about 1.40pm.

The woman will be appearing in court next week charged with driving with excess breath alcohol.

Northland DHB did not wish to comment.