Two police officers have been injured after a man rammed their police car causing thousands in damage to the vehicle and injuring the two officers.
Just before midnight on Wednesday Taupō police were responding to a report of a stolen Isuzu SUV.
Once the SUV was spotted officers activated their lights and sirens and the driver of the stolen vehicle pulled over and stopped.
But as officers approached the vehicle it moved away, mounting the kerb.
"It then began doing donuts on the grass, before turning in the direction the patrol car, which was still stationery with both officers back inside it."
The driver of the stolen vehicle then deliberately rammed the front of the patrol car, causing several thousand dollars' worth of damage
The officers reacted by restarting the "severely damaged vehicle and, with safety in mind, attempted to flee the scene and await support".
As the officers left the scene, the driver of the stolen vehicle started following the police patrol, which was now severely underpowered but sufficiently mobile to stay in front of the offending vehicle.
This lasted a few kilometres until another police car engaged the stolen vehicle, causing it to flee towards Wharewaka, where the vehicle was lost.
Despite prolonged attempts by Police to locate the vehicle and its driver, the search was abandoned.
During daylight, the Isuzu was found down an embankment at Wharewaka.
No one was with the vehicle.
Further inquiries led police to a man at a Taupō motel.
A 40-year-old man from South Auckland was arrested and was facing a number of charges in relation to this incident.
He is to appear in the Rotorua District Court on Friday charged with two counts of assault with a weapon, one count of unlawful taking, theft of a car and reckless driving.
Taupō Area Commander Inspector Warwick Morehu said he had high praise for the way his police officers handled themselves in the dangerous situation.
"Our officers train and prepare to the highest degree for all situations. Unfortunately, volatile and challenging situations arise.
"Our two young officers sustained minor injuries and were shaken by the experience. Despite this they are fronting again for duty this evening."