Two teens and a 12-year-old are in custody after a police pursuit of a stolen car ended in a crash on Auckland's Southern Motorway.

The vehicle was driven the wrong way down the busy motorway after police had abandoned the pursuit, in an incident that spanned 28 minutes in total.

Counties Manukau South Area Commander Dave Glossop said it was "absolutely terrifying" for all motorists who witnessed it and that police were "absolutely amazed that no person has been injured".

"It is through sheer luck that I can say that there are no injuries following this incident."


Police were unable to stop the driver about 10am in Pukekohe, and abandoned pursuit within minutes due to the nature of the driving.

The 18-year-old, who was understood to be the driver, then drove the car on to the Southern Motorway at Drury in excess of 100kph, where it was spotted by the Eagle helicopter.

The car was driving on the wrong side of the motorway.

The car exited the motorway at Ramarama before getting back onto the motorway heading northbound, this time on the right side of the motorway.

The driver then made a U-turn and crashed into a police vehicle.

The driver turned back the correct way but crashed into a truck near the Papakura off-ramp, partially blocking the northbound lanes.

Police say a member of the public helped an officer to apprehend the driver and two passengers of the vehicle. The entire incident lasted about 28 minutes.

An 18-year-old female, 15-year-old male and 12-year-old female were all in police custody.

"This type of behaviour has to stop as it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed," Glossop said.

"We are now limited in what we can say as this matter will be going before the courts but we want to express our deep concern by this type of offending.

"Hundreds of members of the public going about their daily business were put in immense danger and it is simply unacceptable."

There were no reported injuries.

NZTA confirmed both northbound lanes were temporarily blocked to enable vehicle recovery but had since reopened.

* Police ask that anyone whose vehicles might have been damaged in the incident contact Sergeant Nick Ewen on 09 261 1300.