A person has been charged with dangerous driving causing death after a fatal crash following a police pursuit near Taupō last night.
Two people died in separate crashes in Rotokawa near Taupō overnight.
Bay of Plenty District Commander Superintendent Andy McGregor said about 11.40pm last night the police attended a fatal crash on Broadlands Rd.
The vehicle left the road and rolled through a paddock before hitting a tree.
The sole occupant died at the scene.
A roadblock was put in place on the corner of Broadlands Rd and Centennial Drive.
About 1.20am, a police photographer was en route to the scene from Rotorua and was passed by a car, McGregor told media.
"The photographer radioed ahead to the scene, afraid for the safety of the staff there, to say this vehicle was approaching them."
A police vehicle was sent from the scene to where the roadblock was to ensure the safety of the civilian contractors manning the roadblock, he said.
As the vehicle approached the roadblock, it turned right into Centennial Drive, police said.
The police lights were activated and police vehicle followed the car for fewer than 30 seconds before it lost control on a corner and went through a horse fence and into a paddock.
The passenger of the vehicle, a 45-year-old male, was pronounced dead at the scene, McGregor said.
A 28-year-old male, the driver of the vehicle, has been charged with dangerous driving causing death and will be appearing in the Taupo District Court today. "Our thoughts go out to the family of the two people who died last night; this is not a very good day for them at all."
He said staff had been deeply affected by it as they were close to the fleeing vehicle when the crash happened.
"If people stop these things don't happen. I look at our staff; we've got young staff, some with less than a year's service, visibly upset about this whole incident but they've done what we expected them to do."
"There's an expectation of the public out there that we stop these vehicles because they may kill an innocent third party."
It was confirmed that roadworks were taking place where the crash happened and the new chip seal was on the road.
The first fatality was unrelated to the second, he confirmed.
"This is an absolute tragedy and an outcome no one ever wants.
"We come to work every day to keep our community safe, and the staff involved have been deeply affected by this incident."
The crash will be investigated by both the Independent Police Conduct Authority and police investigators.
The cordon on Centennial Drive started at the corner with Rakanui Rd and finished on the corner with Broadlands Rd - a 2km stretch but as of 9.30am cars were being allowed through.