Three people have serious injuries after the car they were in crashed during a police chase near Taupo.
Police have revealed the car was linked to an incident in Hastings early yesterday morning where a man and woman were seriously assaulted at a house.
The crash happened later yesterday as the car being pursued hit police road spikes and veered off the road, hitting a tree.
Police said in a statement two men entered a Hastings house and seriously assaulted the occupants about 4.30am.
A man and woman in their early 20s suffered broken elbows, a broken wrist and finger and a suspected fractured eye socket.
One of the offenders used a wooden bat or pole. Property belonging to the victims was also taken during the incident, the statement said.
The offenders then left the area in a stolen vehicle, a silver Nissan Primera sedan registration AAN887.
That vehicle was seen by a member of the public in Napier and its driver fled from police.
The chase, which lasted about four to five minutes, was abandoned for safety reasons.
A second pursuit of the same vehicle started near Taupo about 11.45am after the driver failed to stop for police. Road spikes were deployed. The vehicle hit the spikes and veered off the road and into a tree.
Sergeant Steve Denny of Taupo police said the pursuit started near Waimihia Fire Station, on the Napier-Taupo highway (State Highway 5), about 25km east of Taupo.
The car had three people inside and Taupo firefighters had to cut them free. Mr Denny said all three suffered serious injuries. Two were taken to Waikato Hospital and the third to Rotorua Hospital.
Two officers in the pursuing vehicle were in shock and had been taken back to Taupo police station to be debriefed, Mr Denny said. The highway was down to a single lane with a stop-go system operating while crash analysts investigated the scene.
A reporter at the scene said there were eight police cars, two fire engines and an ambulance at the crash.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority will be advised of the incident.