Canadian took police on southern 'tiki tour'

A Canadian national who led police on a "tiki tour" pursuit, from Hawea to Queensberry, left a trail of wreckage in his wake.

Senior Sergeant Matt Scoles, of Dunedin, said the 22-year-old man, who was living in Queenstown, led police on a chase after causing damage to a fence and roadworks at Makarora.

Police received a call from a member of the public about a four-wheel-drive van driving through a gate and over some road cones in Makarora about 7.45am yesterday.

They then received another complaint about the van being driven on the wrong side of the road for a significant amount of time. The vehicle had sustained significant damage from the collision with the gate, Scoles said.

When police caught up with the man near Hawea he failed to stop, instead driving south towards Cromwell, Scoles said.

"He took the Wanaka cop on a tiki tour all the way down to Queensberry."

Extra units from Cromwell and Alexandra were called to assist, however the man decided to pull over before they arrived.

He was arrested at the scene.

Despite the earlier reports of erratic driving, aside from failing to stop, the man drove sensibly and without excessive speed during the pursuit, Scoles said.

Inquiries are continuing.

The Southland Times