After more than two hours involving a police pursuit of a stolen vehicle, spiking and bush search a 27-year-old Northland man was arrested.

The drama began after a stolen ute was reported to be involved in a petrol drive-off in Kerikeri about 3.45pm yesterday.

Senior Sergeant Cliff Metcalfe said a police patrol spotted the vehicle 10 minutes later as it was being driven towards Kaikohe.

A pursuit began and the driver fled towards Kaikohe and through the town before the officer was directed to abandon the pursuit after 30 minutes.

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Mr Metcalfe said the officer then spotted the vehicle again and followed at a safe distance with no lights and sirens.

The driver headed into the Waipoua Forest on State Highway 12.

However, police from Dargaville put out road spikes at some of the one-lane bridges on the winding tourist route.

The driver eventually ran over the spikes and continued before going off the road about 1 kilometre south of Tane Mahuta about 5.30pm.

Mr Metcalfe said a police dog handler had been called.

However, while he was en route officers who had put in cordons and had searched the fringes of the forest found the driver near the car park of the Four Sisters Kauri trees about 6pm.

It's believed the ute was stolen from a property at Donnellys Crossing on Saturday.

Police were to interview the man and it was likely he would appear in court today.

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