Michael Massie, 20, has been sentenced at Christchurch District Court for taking police on a 700km chase across the South Island.

Rescue operation in Golden Bay

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A search and rescue operation is under way off the remote Wharariki Beach near the western base of Farewell Spit where two people have become stranded on the Archway Island by the incoming tide.

The pair are believed to be only wearing swimsuits and there are concerns for their welfare.

Heavy rain in the area is hampering the rescue effort.

A Defence Force helicopter, surf rescue and specialist LandSar team are all enroute to the scene.