A man who allegedly took his 2-year-old son from his ex-partner and embarked on a 170kmh car chase was "totally stupid", police say.
Police said they were alerted to a domestic incident in Dunedin on Tuesday afternoon where a 30-year-old man allegedly took his young son from the boy's mother.
The man had made threats to harm himself and police had concerns for him and his son, Senior Sergeant Malcolm Johnston said.
The man was spotted by police north of Christchurch about 7.30pm. He was allegedly travelling at 170kmh.
Police decided to follow the car from a distance rather than directly pursuing it, Johnston said.
"To travel at 170kmh with a child in the car is totally stupid," he said.
Police followed the man to the house of a family friend in Amberley, where he was arrested. The child was unfazed, Johnston said.
"We were just thankful that they arrived safely ... the driver was incredibly unpredictable and wound up to the point that we didn't want to put any more pressure on him at all," he said.
He said the mother of the child was relieved.
"It had the potential for a real tragedy," Johnston said.
The man will appear in the Christchurch District Court on on July 19 charged with dangerous driving.
- The Press