Marlborough police have charged a man driving at 171 kilometres an hour.
He was recorded driving high speed on State Highway 1 south of Ward about 4.30pm yesterday.
Police received several complaints from members of the public about a speeding car, and went in search of the vehicle.
Highway patrol sergeant Barrie Greenall said when the driver was signalled to stop, he did a U-turn and fled in the opposite direction before being stopped and arrested.
Sergeant Greenall said the young Ashburton man's driving placed all road users at risk.
He said the man had travelled from Dunedin yesterday and complaints had been received from as far afield as Canterbury.
Police said when they finally stopped the car they found the driver and a hitchhiker, who said another man given a lift had got out near Kaikoura because of concerns about the driver's behaviour.
The 21-year-old has been charged with failing to stop and driving at a dangerous speed.
He received an immediate 28 day suspension of his driver's licence and has been released on bail to appear in the Blenheim District Court on 23 March.