Seven teenagers driving three stolen rental cars led police on a chase from central Rotorua to Lower Kaimai early this morning.

About 5.30am today an off-duty police officers spotted three cars being driven dangerously on Pukuatua St, Rotorua, a police spokeswoman said.

The officer notified on duty staff and police soon found the cars on State Highway 5 (Fairy Springs Rd) heading north.

The vehicles had been stolen from a rental car facility nearby so a number of police began following them.

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The driver of one car turned the vehicle around in Mamaku and it was spiked near the Ngongotaha roundabout a short time later. Three teenagers, aged 14 to 16, were arrested.

At the same time, the two other stolen vehicles were being driven north on SH28.

One of the drivers hit a kerb and blew the front tyre near Tapapa and police arrested two more teens, aged 16 and 17.

Police continued to follow the remaining vehicle onto State Highway 29 towards Tauranga.

The driver crashed into a ditch in Lower Kaimai and another two teenagers, aged 16 and 17, were arrested.

The spokeswoman said Rotorua Police were taking the offending very seriously and were making further inquiries into what happened, including investigating the theft of the vehicles.