An alleged drunk driver who crashed and killed his passenger while fleeing police has been charged with manslaughter.

Robert Pora, 26, appeared in Manukau District Court this week in relation to the August 15 incident which saw his car flip and come to rest on its roof on Boundary Rd in Otara.

Passenger Steven Henare Te Pania died from his injuries.

Pora was allegedly driving through South Auckland just before 10pm on the night in question, while police were undertaking an automatic number plate recognition operation on Puhinui Rd.


According to police, the driver continued even when signalled to stop.

It is then alleged Pora crashed into another vehicle, flipping his car, killing his mate and landing both himself and the other driver in hospital.

The defendant - listed in court documents as a painter from Mangere Bridge - was also charged with reckless driving causing injury.

He faces a charge of being "under the influence of alcohol to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the vehicle", as well as driving while forbidden and failing to pull over for police.

Superintendent John Tims of Counties Manukau police called it a "senseless tragedy" which could have been prevented had the driver of the car chosen to stop when signalled to do so.

As is the case with all matters involving a police pursuit, the case was referred to the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

Pora was remanded on bail and will next appear in the High Court at Auckland later this month.