A fleeing driver has today admitted taking police on prolonged pursuits spanning 150km across Canterbury.

Andrew David Hunter, 32, was spotted by police speeding in a blue Subaru on State Highway 7 near Waikari in North Canterbury at about 12.30pm on May 3.

Police said he was doing 120km/h as he sped through Waikari's 60km/h zone.

Officers turned to follow Hunter but soon abandoned their pursuit out of concern for public safety on the busy arterial road, Christchurch District Court heard.

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Hunter then stole $52 of petrol from a BP petrol station in Parklands, Christchurch – some 75km away.

The police summary of facts says he drove on SH1 to Ashburton where he stopped at a River Rd house and asked the occupants for more petrol.

At about 3pm, he was seen driving by police who again started following him.

Hunter drove through police road spikes on Beach Rd East, causing one of his tyres to go flat.

He continued fleeing from police and sped into Ashburton township.

"At this time of day, there was heavy traffic including parents picking up school children," the summary of facts says.

Even when his left front tyre came off the wheel, he continued driving on the rims, police said.

When he got stuck in traffic at Tinwald, police finally managed to apprehend Hunter.

When they searched his car, they found what appeared to be a flashlight.

"On closer inspection, the handle was found to conceal a knife blade and the device was wired in such a way that the electrical current from the battery could be directed through the knife blade or through a probe in the torch handle," police said.

When spoken to by police, Hunter claimed he didn't see the red and blue lights of the patrol on SH7.

He said he fled police in Ashburton as he was "scared and felt he had nothing to lose".

Today, he entered guilty pleas to charges of dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, stealing petrol, and possession of an offensive weapon.

Judge Brian Callaghan remanded him in custody to be sentenced at Nelson District Court on July 3.