A 30-year-old is in custody after allegedly car-jacking a driver at gunpoint and driving him through Christchurch this morning.

Police say the man, armed with a pistol, approached a man in a vehicle parked on Hawdon St in Sydenham just after 9.30am.

The gunman then detained the victim and drove around the city, Detective Sergeant Michael Freeman said.

They ended up at a service station in Opawa where police say the victim managed to escape and alert staff who phoned police.

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Police found the offender driving the victim's vehicle and engaged in a pursuit.

It's believed that road spikes were used and the fleeing drive crashed on Mairehau Rd in Shirley where police arrested him.

"It is believed that the parties are not known to each other," Freeman said.

He added that the victim is "safe and unharmed".

The alleged offender is in police custody and will face serious charges.