A man has been charged after the passenger in the car he was driving died after the car crashed into a fence early this morning near Taupō.
Superintendent Andy McGregor said a police photographer en route to a separate fatal car crash on Broadbands Road, near Centennial Drive, spotted a vehicle being driven dangerously and at speed at around 1.20am this morning. The photographer alerted police nearby.
The driver of the vehicle then approached the roadblock in place on Broadbands Road before turning right onto Centennial Drive, Mr McGregor said, where a police vehicle at the scene of the fatal crash then pursued the driver.
He said the driver failed to stop on request, after which the vehicle was pursued for around 500 to 700 metres. The car crashed through a horse fence and into a paddock less than 30 seconds later.
A 45-year-old man, the passenger, died at the scene.
A 28-year-old man, the driver, will appear in the Taupō District Court today charged with dangerous driving causing death.
"Our thoughts go out to the family of the two persons that died last night. This is not a very good day for them at all," Mr McGregor said.
"Our staff are deeply affected by this. All those involved were very upset."
The driver was known to police.
The serious crash unit is conducting a scene examination to assist police with their investigation into the incident, which is now underway.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority has been notified.
In the first crash, the vehicle left the road, rolled through a paddock and hit a tree.
The driver was the only person in the car.