A man who attempled to rob a Foxton dairy this morning left the shop empty-handed, then led police on a high-speed chase.

He got into a stolen blue hatchback containing another man and they drove south on SH1 where they were seen by a police patrol car.

A pursuit commenced after the vehicle failed to stop for police and they drove off at speed, heading south.

Gerry Foxley, who was passing through Levin, witnessed the chase.

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"I was just getting into my car at the Levin PostShop and, in the corner of my eye, I saw this car racing towards me. I felt a breeze as he zipped past at very high speed. He went right through the intersection at speed.

"I feel I was lucky. Normally, I park my car on the other side of the road and walk across. Had I done that this morning, I would have been killed by this idiot. I reckon he was doing at least 100km/h.

"I had a bit of a sense that I should park outside the PostShop this morning, rather than on the opposite side and walk over. Just as well."

He witnessed the police following behind the speeding at a distance of about 400m. He said it was 7.09am when the speeding car rushed past him.

"When I got to Otaki Bridge, I talked to the policemen there and commended them for the way they did the pursuit. They hung back. They have a job to do and I believe they did this one really well."

Police report the pursued vehicle drove over road spikes set up in Otaki and was later found abandoned on Otaki Beach at the southern end of Marine Parade.

Two men were seen running off by members of the public.

Police were still seeking the offenders and would like to hear from anyone in the area who saw anyone acting suspiciously in this location about 7.30am onwards and, in particular,would like to speak again to a person who spoke briefly with police at the beach.

Anyone with information could call police on 06 351 2535.