A young man who carried out a prolonged road rage attack with a string of vicious racial slurs on a family has been jailed.

But despite prosecutors arguing the incident was "racially motivated" the judge says "it would be quite wrong" to describe it as a hate crime.

She did, however, concede Fraser Milne's racial comments as he attacked a family and their two children were "abhorrent".

Today he was sentenced in the High Court at Auckland by Justice Sally Fitzgerald.

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He will serve a term of imprisonment of two years and six months and be disqualified from driving for a year after his release.

Milne had earlier pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and four charges of injuring with reckless disregard for safety.

The 21-year-old had initially been charged with attempted murder and threatening to kill but the Crown withdrew those charges as the case approached the scheduled trial in June.

It was in March last year that Milne attacked a Chinese-New Zealand family, including their two children aged 12 and 10, while they were enjoying a Sunday day of picking blueberries.

A family friend was also in the car as they drove on the Awhitu Peninsula near Auckland.

The incident began as Milne was driving over a hill and passed the family's car.

But he was forced to swerve to avoid a collision, court documents provided to the Herald show, and crashed into a drain and fence.

The relatively minor crash would lead to a prolonged high-speed chase, attack and racist tirade against the family.

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It would end with the two children being violently thrown from the car when Milne rammed their vehicle.

Fraser Milne, pictured on the day he pleaded guilty in May. Photo / Peter Meecham
Fraser Milne, pictured on the day he pleaded guilty in May. Photo / Peter Meecham

The family, all of whom have permanent name suppression, were not in court today for the sentencing hearing.

However, the father said in a victim impact statement that people like Milne "are worse than Americans with a gun".

He said he had lived in New Zealand with his family for 18 years after being a truck driver in China.

He considered himself a careful driver and that "human life is the most valuable thing".

"I don't understand why the man stopped us three times, I don't understand why he did that?"

The father has since been diagnosed with a brain tumour and is in palliative care.

His wife also recalled the day and impact Milne's attack has had on her family.

"I always worry about the scars on my daughter and if they will ever go away," she said.

"Our son has changed since the attack ... When the children are with me in the car we are all nervous, when a car comes too close we are all scared."

Knocked unconscious during the attack, she said: "I just remember your aggression and tattoos, that image is in my mind forever.

"I struggle to even go food shopping, I am too scared.

"We tried so hard to get away from you ... I am scared you will come to attack us again."

She said noises at night startle her and as she thinks about the attack every day she wonders if Milne would've stopped his attack if family had paid him some money.

"I still think that everything that happened is my fault because I suggested we go blueberry picking that day.

"The treat for our family was always our day trips, a happy time. We've not been for a family day out since the attack."

The family have considered New Zealand "our home", with the father saying "the fresh air, the friendly people made us feel safe".

"We had the blue sky, the white clouds and healthy children," the mother added.

The court heard the family's car was written-off in the attack and they did not have insurance.

Milne's lawyer Mark Ryan told the court his client was driving his father's car at the time and became enraged as he sought payment for the damage.

Fraser Milne told police he presumed the family were on an
Fraser Milne told police he presumed the family were on an "illegal visa" and "Asian mafia". Photo / Peter Meecham

Court documents show after crashing into the fence, Milne turned his car around and chased the family.

He passed them at speed before doing a u-turn to cut them off and confronted the family, demanding they pay for the damage to his car.

Shouting and swearing, Milne also told the family he belonged to a gang and was going to kill them, court documents read.

The family had attempted to call police but the phone reception was poor so they fled.

But, as they looked in the rear view mirror they noticed Milne quickly catching up.

The family were again forced to stop their car due to Milne's erratic driving.

But this time Milne ramped up his threats as he approached the family's car with his blue-nosed pitbull dog.

Afraid, the family locked themselves in the vehicle, but Milne's attack continued.

He began hitting the car and yelled that his dog was going to eat them.

The terrified family fled again and with the incident seemingly over, Milne drove to a nearby group of shops.

While there, however, he continued to vent his anger to several locals.

He said Asians were "taking over the country" and "f**king Asians" had damaged his car, court documents read.

Milne also made a racist remark about the shape of the family's eyes and said they had run away because he would get "the pieces of sh*t" deported.

New Zealand rock and metal band Devilskin were witnesses to much of the incident at the shops, the Herald understands.

While Milne was carrying out his racist tirade he - by chance - saw the family driving past.

He quickly returned to his car to give chase.

As he left he caused his wheels to spin and narrowly avoided hitting another car.

Lasting for about 7km, Milne's chase also reached speeds of 140km/h, court documents show.

Then, after catching the family, he pulled up alongside them on the wrong side of the road and demanded they stop.

The family refused, so Milne deliberately rammed their car, causing it to spin out of control and crash into a bank.

Flipping in the air, the family's car landed upside down on top of Milne's vehicle before sliding off when he braked suddenly.

When he did, however, the two children were thrown from their car.

They had earlier taken their seatbelts off because they thought they might need to make a hurried exit, court documents read.

The two children landed on the road, narrowly avoiding a steep 100m deep ravine.

But despite the two children lying injured, Milne approached the car to continue his attack.

"Get out of the f**king car, I'm going to smash you! You f**king Asian c***! F**king Asians!" Milne yelled.

The Devilskin band and locals arrived shortly after to help the family while Milne offered no assistance.

The band did not wish to be interviewed about the incident when approached by the Herald.

The family were all taken to hospital, with the son taken to Starship Hospital by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter with an undisplaced fracture to his skull, a laceration to his scalp and a small subdural haematoma.

The mother of the family said in her statement that her son's personality has changed since the attack.

The family friend also suffered a fractured spine.

"It is quite extraordinary that nobody was more seriously injured," Justice Fitzgerald said.

When Milne was questioned by police he said he made further racial slurs.

He also said he presumed the family were on an "illegal visa" and "Asian mafia" who had spent "two days in the country".

Milne also told police he was "at boiling point" when he saw the family drive past him at the shops and that "any Asian in general [he] wanted to hurt".

When Milne rammed the car he said he thought, "someone's gonna come out of it dead" and "this is it ... if they wanna kill me, let them kill me".

He also admitted he "felt like killing" the father of the family and wanted to "grab his neck and strangle him".

Crown prosecutor Jasper Rhodes has said the incident was a "very serious racial motivated attack on a family".

"This is not simply a case of road rage," he said today.

Rhodes added Milne's racial remarks showed what was "essential to his beliefs".

Milne's mother, however, said in a letter to the court that her son has always been respectful to other ethnicities and religions.

Justice Fitzgerald also said Milne, who has three prior minor convictions, was genuinely remorseful for his attack.