Police are standing firm by its pursuit policy amidst criticism it leads to more death on our roads.

A crash in the early hours of Monday morning that killed two, is the second fatal police chase in Auckland in just a fortnight.

A woman, 25 and a man, 29, died after the car they were in crashed into a tree in St Lukes following a brief pursuit.

Earlier this month, Morrocco Tai, 15, was killed in a brief police chase in South Auckland.


Road safety campaigner Clive Matthew-Wilson has said these deaths could be prevented if police ceased to chase those who fled and used other means to catch them, such as air surveillance, or tracking them down later.

The Dog and Lemon vehicle guide editor said New Zealand police should pay heed to its Australian counterparts policies.

He said in many parts of Australia police chases were banned, or restricted and had led to only 19 fatal police pursuits in 11 years in Queensland.

Wilson said it was useless to lecture young offenders on the risk of fleeing.

"They don't think of consequences - they get a rush of adrenaline and just take off at high speed... it's up to police to use their heads instead."

He has called for police to review their pursuit policy to prevent further needless deaths.

But in a written response to the Herald assistant commissioner road policing Sandra Venables said the policy remained "fit for purpose" and was regularly reviewed.

She said the last review of its fleeing driver policy was in July 2016.


"The police policy around pursuits has been extensively reviewed and revised - in fact, since 1996 there have been seven major reviews."

Venables said police found it "testing" when drivers fled from police.

"They are fast-moving, unpredictable and high pressure situations that require quick judgements and the public expect us to get it right."

She added it was a delicate balance between the responsibility to protect life and the duty to enforce law.

However, the assistant commissioner said it was really up to the driver to take more responsibility and make better decisions.

"This type of behaviour has to stop. Fleeing drivers incidents are incredibly dangerous.

"They are putting not only themselves at risk but also their passengers, police staff and innocent members of our community going about their daily lives."

She said fleeing from police would bring little chance of escaping punishment and a much higher chance of facing more serious charges.

"If police officers stop pursuing a fleeing driver, due to safety risks, we will conduct vigorous follow-up investigations to locate the vehicle and hold the driver to account."

She said police focus was on preventing death and serious injury on New Zealand's roads and for that reason police would "never hesitate" to abandon a pursuit which is putting people at risk.