Terrifying footage has emerged of an offender ramming a police car during a pursuit near Matamata yesterday.

Police initially gave chase after a Ford Falcon's driver failed to stop for dangerous driving at 3.48pm in Matamata, police said in a statement.

Pro Earthworks owner Johnny Atkins, who witnessed the incident, told the Herald the fleeing vehicle reached speeds of up to 200km/h.

The driver escaped and was seen a short time later speeding along State Highway 24 near the bottom of the Kaimai Ranges, Atkins said.

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Bystander catches wild police chase. Video / Johnny Atkins

After speeding through the Te Poi intersection on SH24 on three occasions, police laid road spikes in an attempt to stop the Falcon.

Atkins captured the terrifying footage from his digger, which shows the offender reversing and ramming into a police car at speed before making a brazen escape.

Atkins told the Herald the incident was "nuts".

"He came through the first time when he was getting chased, and then he came through again from the opposite way five minutes later. He then came back a third time and that's when police set up the spikes.

"He reversed into a ute first and then the other cop came up behind him and he thought, 'F**k it, I'm getting out of here' and he went straight into him.

"He drove up to the spikes and realised he couldn't get around them so he thought, 'Bugger it' and reversed all the way up the road. They couldn't catch him.

"He got away. He was determined not to get caught. He was a pretty good driver. I'm baffled."

The moment an offender rammed into a police car near Matamata. Photo / Johnny Atkins
The moment an offender rammed into a police car near Matamata. Photo / Johnny Atkins

In a statement to the Herald, police confirmed the incident, saying officers had abandoned their pursuit. Today, police had no update to the search for the driver.

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A spokesperson revealed the police vehicle sustained damage.

"Police attempted to stop a vehicle for dangerous driving at 3.48pm in Matamata. It failed to stop and police briefly pursued but abandoned immediately due to the manner of driving. Inquiries are ongoing to locate the vehicle.

"We understand the police vehicle sustained damage in the incident but we don't have any other details at this point."

Atkins claims the offender would have been driving at close to 200km/h, however, police have not confirmed the speed of the offender.