One person has died after a police pursuit in South Auckland.

At 10.08pm yesterday police tried to pull over a car on Hill Rd in Manurewa but the driver sped away.

Inspector Matthew Srhoj said police began to chase the car but immediately abandoned the pursuit because of the "manner of driving".

The officer lost sight of the car but soon after it was found crashed into a tree, he said.

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The officer tried to help the driver but they died at the scene.

A person died after crashing into a tree on Hill Rd while running from police. Photo / Alice Peacock
A person died after crashing into a tree on Hill Rd while running from police. Photo / Alice Peacock

The driver was the only person in the car.

Two officers were this morning surveying the scene on Hill Rd, near Hillcrest Grove Reserve.

A Manurewa resident at a nearby home said the crash happening in the midst of some loud thunder.

The man, who didn't want to be named, said he initially thought the loud bang of the crash was more thunder - until his daughter suggested otherwise.

"My daughter said 'no, I think that was a crash'."

"So we came out, and we saw a car in amongst the trees there."

The car looked like a mess, the man said.

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Around 7 or 8 police cars promptly turned up at the scene, he said.

He didn't know the driver had died until this morning, when he received a text from his daughter.

"We didn't know anyone was killed."

It was distressing, he said, particularly knowing someone was in the car and had likely been badly hurt.

"It's not nice seeing something like that happen."

Police had come by to interview the household and around 10.30 last night.

The local said the road had historically been a hotspot for crashes, though things had improved since a centre median had been painted some years back.

"That's the second time this has happened... going back three or four years ago four young fellas stole a car and there was a police chase."

"They hit the same tree."

Another resident said she didn't hear anything of the crash, but was woken up by police knocking at the door around 11pm.

The officers had asked her husband whether he had heard any skidding or any loud bangs.

The bark had been scraped off the trunks of two trees bordering the reserve, while the wire of a fence further into the bush was bent back.

Police were focusing on this area in their scene examination, suggesting the driver careened off the road and crashed into the trees.

Srhoj said: "I want to extend my sincere condolences to the family impacted by this tragedy."

"Police come to work every day to keep people safe and prevent harm on our roads. An outcome like this is the last thing any officer wants to see."

He pleaded with people to pull over and stop when signalled to by police.

"It is not worth putting your life, or anyone else's life, at risk."

A driver who fled police in Hill Rd, Manurewa last night crashed into a tree and died
A driver who fled police in Hill Rd, Manurewa last night crashed into a tree and died

The incident would be referred to the IPCA.