One dead, two critically injured, after police pursuit in Far North

By Te Ao - Māori News

A passenger in a vehicle fleeing police has died in an incident in the Far North overnight, police said in a statement.

Police initiated a pursuit of a vehicle in central Kaitaia at about 1.20am, however, it was soon abandoned due to speed and the manner of driving, Northland District Commander Superintendent Tony Hill said in the statement.

The fleeing vehicle has continued onto a rural road and crashed into a power pole.

A backseat passenger died at the scene.

The driver and another passenger sustained critical injuries and were flown to Auckland for emergency medical treatment.

Two other passengers sustained moderate to minor injuries.

"I want to extend my sincere condolences to the families impacted by this tragedy," District Commander Hill said.

"Fleeing driver events can be volatile, unpredictable and high risk to everyone involved, so whether or not to pursue a fleeing driver is one of the most serious decisions our staff face on the frontline.

"Our officers come to work every day to keep people safe and prevent harm so this is the worst possible outcome."

The circumstances of the incident will be subject to a police investigation and the Independent Police Conduct Authority will be notified.

The road was closed for a scene examination overnight and reopened just before 6am.