Grandparents of teen driver killed in pursuit say they don't blame police

The grandparents of 15-year-old Ihaia Maxwell, who was killed during a police pursuit in Palmerston North on Monday, say it's "done and dusted" and they don't blame anyone for his death.

Kat Maxwell said her grandson was full of life and had "a great chance to make it in anything he gave his hand to".

He was in breach of bail for car theft when police chased him in a stolen Subaru Impreza. It crashed, killing him and 12-year-old Meadow James who was in the front seat, and leaving a 15-year-old girl in a serious condition.  

"We didn't even know he could drive," Ms Maxwell said.

His involvement in a high-speed chase is barely making sense to his grandparents.

Grandfather Dennis Maxwell said: "I'm hearing things that he was doing 180kms. That's like Playstation stuff. These kids grew grew up on it and they just think it's reality."

They say they are not blaming anyone, and Ihaia made his own choice.

"It's done and dusted. We can't change it. The police can't change it," Mr Maxwell said.

All three in the car were linked to a street gang or crew called NSK - No Snitching Krew. Ihaia's tagging name was SYFAH.

"Tragically I think he liked the adrenaline rushes that he got from... well, obviously stealing cars," Ms Maxwell said.

The couple say they're sending aroha to the family of the girl who was killed in the passenger seat.

"Apart from feeling our grief from losing our moko, we're also feeling grief for that family," Ms Maxwell said.

She said Ihaia didn't come from a broken home, but from a loving whanau who are devastated.

"He came from loving parents, loving grandparents, loving great-grandparents, totally supported in everything he did. For him to go down the trail that he did go down was pretty heartbreaking for us," Ms Maxwell said.

The chase has left confusion and regret.

"He's just a young boy. Doing young boy silly stuff that they do," Mr Maxwell said.