One of the two victims in the crash after a police chase in Christchurch was a pregnant woman.
The single-car crash took place at the corner of Cuthberts Rd and Breezes Rd shortly after 2.30am today.
Superintendent Lane Todd said police had attempted to stop the vehicle on Breezes Rd but the driver fled.
Police followed the vehicle for less than a minute before abandoning the chase due to the dangerous nature of the driving.
Three people were in the vehicle and two died at the scene.
A third person suffered moderate injuries and was treated by ambulance staff.
A resident near the scene of the crash said the survivor yelled at police to get his partner out of the car as she was pregnant, Stuff reported.
"The crash was a tragic outcome that nobody wants," Todd said.
"Police encourage any driver who is signalled to stop by police to do just that."
A full investigation into the circumstances of the crash had started and the Independent Police Conduct Authority had been notified.
The area around the crash scene was closed and diversions were in place. Police are asking motorists to avoid the area.
"It is not worth putting your life, your passenger's life, or anyone else's life at risk."