A police pursuit involving two young drivers stretched 90km today before coming to a low-speed crash stop in Pukekohe.
Somehow the driver managed to avoid multiple sets of road spikes laid in Hamilton and along the route north before finally succumbing to a set in Pukekohe township, south of Auckland about 2.20pm.
Waikato police Senior Sergeant Phil Ruddell said the two occupants, two male youths from Hamilton, had been arrested and were currently being driven back to the Waikato after the ordeal which stretched nearly 90 minutes.
The incident kicked off in Clarkin Rd, Hamilton, about 1pm when the silver Mazda Familia station wagon, which was stolen, failed to stop.
It led officers on a pursuit around the Chartwell suburb.
A set of road spikes was set up on Bankwood Rd, followed by two other sets along the way, however the driver managed to avoid them.
Ruddell said officers had to pull away from the pursuit after the car started driving on the wrong side of the road through roadworks north of Rangiriri before doing a u-turn.
The car eventually did another u-turn to allow it to continue north.
Ruddell said their counterparts from Counties Manukau then became involved and the car eventually came to a low speed, crashing stop in Pukekohe township after another set of road spikes were laid.
There were no injuries.
"The speeds were not hugely excessive, maybe 20 per cent over the limit, they might have been doing 20km/h over the speed limit on the [Waikato] expressway.
"At one point where there were some roadworks they managed to cross into the southbound lane of the expressway, at which point police immediately abandoned the pursuit due to the increased risk."
Using road spikes cut down the risk of injury to the occupants, he said.
"Police use road spikes as they are designed to slowly deflate tyres. If fleeing drivers continue to drive, they do so on flat tyres until they disintegrate, which is what's happened here.
"This then leads to fleeing drivers not able to have complete control of the vehicle or to be able to drive at high speeds."
Ruddell said the occupants were likely not aware of the danger they posed on the road.
"The youths involved perhaps don't realise the danger that every road user was placed in and it had potential to become a serious incident."
He thanked his Counties Manukau colleagues for enabling an efficient and eventually safe arrest of the pair.
The incident was one of two serious incidents unravelling in the district this afternoon.
Around the same time about 10 patrol units had descended on property in the "Ngaruawahia area" due to a "serious incident".
Police confirmed just after 2pm the incident was a sudden death but was not suspicious.
The matter would be referred to the coroner.