An independent inquiry into a fatal police pursuit in the Bay of Plenty found officers should have abandoned the high speed chase as it put the public at risk.
In October 2010 a stolen ute driven by 21-year-old Harley Wilson crashed on Jellicoe Street in Te Puke, east of Tauranga, following a police pursuit which covered 38km and lasted 17 minutes.
Mr Wilson and 25-year-old passenger Michael Keepa died at the scene.
An Independent Police Conduct Authority investigation into the pursuit found officers were justified in attempting to stop Mr Wilson.
However, police did not take into account the high speeds of the fleeing ute, particularly on roads with 50-70km/h speed limits, when they carried out a risk assessment prior to the pursuit.
The authority's report, released on Friday, outlines three stages in which the pursuit should have been abandoned due to high speeds.
"The sustained high speeds reached by the pursuing officers were dangerous to the public, the occupants of the fleeing vehicle and the officers themselves," it said in a statement.
Earlier Mr Wilson sped off as he approached an alcohol checkpoint in Mount Maunganui and a pursuit began.
At Papamoa Beach Mr Wilson swerved to avoid road spikes and police abandoned the pursuit.
However, two minutes later the pursuit resumed toward Te Puke.
The pursuit reached speeds of up to 160km/h and the vehicles were travelling 135km/h in a 50km/h zone as they came into Te Puke.
Mr Wilson lost control of the ute, which was travelling at least 110km/h, on a corner and the vehicle plunged down a grass bank into a lamp post and a tree.
The authority recommended that frontline and communications staff involved in the pursuit be reminded of the risks of a high speed pursuit.All staff should also be reminded of the importance of carrying out a pre-deployment check of their patrol car and equipment.
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