Man accused of ramming Taupo police car with stolen SUV before chasing officers down the road for several kilometres

Police say two of their officers had to flee after a man rammed their patrol car and pursued them for several kilometres.

The incident took place overnight Wednesday in Taupo, police said, when two officers responded to reports of a stolen Isuzu SUV.

When they approached the vehicle, they turned on their lights and sirens, and the driver initially pulled over for them.

However, police say the driver then drove up onto the curb, onto the grass where he began to do donuts. He then intentionally rammed the large SUV at speed directly into the front of the patrol car.

The patrol car was badly damaged, police say, and the two officers attempted to flee the scene and wait for backup.

The driver of the stolen car then began following the now-limping patrol car.

"This lasted a few kilometres when thankfully another Police patrol engaged the stolen vehicle, causing it to flee towards Wharewaka, where the vehicle was lost," police said in a statement.

Police said prolonged efforts were made to find the vehicle, but they were unable to until yesterday morning, when they found the SUV down a bank.

After further investigation, police were able to find a 40-year-old Auckland man hiding out at a Taupo motel, and he was arrested.

Police say the man will appear at Rotorua District Court today charged with assault with a weapon, unlawful taking, theft of a car and reckless driving.

Taupo Area Commander Inspector Warwick Morehu praised the two "young" officers involved for the way they handled the situation, saying they were shaken by the incident but had fronted up for work again without delay.

Repairs to the patrol car will cost "several thousand dollars".

Police car night generic
Police car (File picture). Source: 1 NEWS



It's okay to talk about bowel cancer, say young survivors launching 'Never too young' campaign

A group young people diagnosed with bowel cancer have launched a campaign called 'Never too young' to raise awareness that the disease doesn't only affect older people and that it's okay to talk about it.

Ninety per cent of people with bowel cancer are over the age of 50,  but younger people are not immune, Seven Sharp reported.

Chelsea Halliwell was 39, on holiday with her husband and two young children, when she realised something was up.

"I'd had some symptoms over probably about six weeks, just a little bit of blood when I went to the toilet on the toilet paper. Not all the time, intermittent," she explained, at a group photo shoot for the new campaign.

"And I thought nothing of it really. I thought this is a bit odd. But it kept going away. And then while I was on holiday I read an article in the newspaper about a Wellington woman, about her diagnosis with bowel cancer with the same symptom. And I thought, oh crickey that's what I've got!"

Ms Halliwell was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer.

Many of them were misdiagnosed or it wasn't picked up for a long time - Chelsea Halliwell

"I'm really proud of myself for actually getting to the GP 'cause that isn't something I would normally have done. And it saved my life," she said.

Now, Ms Halliwell and a group of other young people who've had bowel cancer are hoping to save more lives, creating the campaign 'Never too young".

"Overnight I got 44 responses and they just kept coming in. And they were stories of people who were in their twenties and thirties who had no idea that it was something that young people could get. And many of them were misdiagnosed or it wasn't picked up for a long time," Ms Halliwell said.

Another member of the group, Jonny Hope, said he hopes the campaign will "normalise" the issue of bowel cancer and get people talking about it

"I don't think there's anything to be embarrassed about. And I think that could be a barrier in a lot of people going to get checked," he said.

Ms Halliwell added: "You might talk over a coffee with a girlfriend about examining a breast lump, but you would never talk about this sort of thing in the same situation. And that's what we want to do is to change that conversation so that it's okay to talk about. It's just another part of your body." 

The 'Never too young' campaign is out to create awareness of the disease, which doesn’t just impact older people. Source: Seven Sharp

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'How lucky am I?' Briscoes lady' celebrates 30th year as Kiwi advertising legend

This week marks the 30th anniversary of a Kiwi advertising legend - the Briscoes lady.

Tammy Wells, the face of the discount chain store, says, "I just remember thinking, 'Oh my gosh'".

Briscoes chief executive Rod Duke, remembers the moment he first came across Ms Wells' audition tape.

"She came from Christchurch. We'd already been through Auckland and Wellington. I came to that particular tape and we had, probably, six or eight presenters. It was instant," Mr Duke said.

"I don't think you're going to find another presenter on TV of any sex, with any company, who can endure that. I think it's extraordinary."

Ms Wells said she was "so wired, so 'weeeee' that it was just like, 'Oh, just tone it down' which, fortunately, I've been able to do as I've got older which is lovely".

"It's more 'me' now than that sort of wired lady. I suppose the Briscoes lady sometimes gets more excited about some of the things that I wouldn't perhaps be quite so excited about," she said.

Ms Wells learned her tricks of the trade from 1973 game show It's in the Bag's Heather Eggleston.

"I just did what she did and she was so full of beans and so full of energy and I just thought, 'Oh, wow!' and so it's just continuing her wonderful legacy."

"The wonderful thing is it's paid the mortgage and educated our kids and how lucky am I?"

Tammy Wells should be instantly recognisable to any New Zealander after three decades on our screens. Source: Seven Sharp