A teenager bailed on a murder charge is in custody after he allegedly hijacked a car at gunpoint, then led police on a high-speed pursuit through Auckland.

Suppression orders protect the identity of the 18-year-old, but the Herald can reveal he has appeared in the Manukau District Court charged with stealing a car, possession of an airgun, dangerous driving and failing to stop for police.

A firearm was also used in the alleged murder.

The 18-year-old and three other teenagers are accused of hijacking the car in North Crest Way, Manurewa, by threatening the occupants with a powerful air rifle late on Monday night.

The stolen car was driven with its headlights turned off at up to 90km/h.

At one point, it rammed a police car, before being driven on to Great South Rd.

The 10-minute pursuit ended when the car was driven over road spikes the police had laid on Kerrs Rd, Wiri.

The four youths were arrested at gunpoint, and the murder-accused appeared in the Manukau District Court on Tuesday.

His bail was revoked that day in the High Court at Auckland.

Two of the hijacking accused appeared in the Youth Court because they were under 16.

Suppression orders prevent the Herald publishing details of the killing with which the 18-year-old has been charged.

Privately, many police officers have concerns about the number of people reoffending while on bail for serious charges.

"You'd be surprised how many accused murderers are on bail," said one source.

Convicted murderer Haiden Mark Davis had amassed a dozen criminal convictions and was on bail for aggravated assault and theft when he killed Augustine Borrell.

The 2007 robbery of which Davis was accused took place late at night, a street away from where three months later he would stab 17-year-old Augustine to death in a post-party brawl in the upmarket suburb of Herne Bay.

Davis was granted bail after being charged with the murder on account of his age - 18 at the time.

While awaiting trial, he broke his bail conditions by meeting an important witness in the case against him.

After Davis was convicted and jailed for life in April, Augustine's father, Charlie Borrell, said: "First my son's life is taken. If that wasn't bad enough, I am getting my nose rubbed in it."

He said that if someone awaiting trial for murder was not closely monitored, they should not be released at all.

The murder accused in the car-hijack case has been on bail since last August.

He will reappear in the Manukau District Court on July 15.

National amended the law just before Christmas to stipulate that bail would be refused if there was any risk to the public.

This wording replaced the more qualified "real or substantial risk" that Labour's version of the legislation contained.