19 Feb 2009

Father of man injured during police chase arrives in NZ

1:19 pm on 19 February 2009

The father of a South Korean student who was run down by a stolen car during a police chase has arrived in Auckland where his son is a serious condition in hospital.

The 24-year-old was hit by the car while crossing Queen Street with friends about 12.30am on Tuesday.

The driver did not stop, and the stolen vehicle was later found abandoned at the corner of Emily Place and Customs Street. It was stolen in west Auckland on 3 February.

His father and a professor from university in South Korea where the man was studying arrived in Auckland on Friday and were taken directly to Auckland City Hospital to be with him.

Police say the student's condition has improved slightly from being in a critical condition to a serious condition.

They say they are following various lines of inquiry but are still appealing for witnesses.

The hit-and-run incident follows the shooting of a bystander inadvertently caught in a police pursuit on the north western motorway last month.

On 23 January, Halatau Naitoko, 17, was shot and killed in his van by police officers firing at Stephen Hohepa McDonald, 50, after a vehicle chase lasting an hour.

Detective Inspector Bruce Shadbolt has defended the decision to engage in the latest pursuit. Mr Shadbolt said the pursuit lasted about 25 seconds and vehicles a speed of about 60 kilometres an hour.