A forbidden driver who killed his friend after crashing an unwarranted car during a high-speed police chase blamed the victim for encouraging him to speed off.

Robert Pora, 26, pleaded guilty to five charges in the High Court at Auckland this morning, the most serious of which was manslaughter, carrying a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Steven Henare Te Pania died in Pora's Mitsubishi after a head-on collision flipped the car on to its side - but when interviewed by police, the driver said he had accelerated only at the victim's request.

The defendant was driving through Manukau on August 15 with Mr Te Pania in the passenger seat of his unlicensed, unwarranted car.

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Pora had been drinking before getting behind the wheel and after trying to overtake another motorist at speed, police put on their sirens and lights and began a pursuit.

The defendant immediately accelerated, reaching speeds of up to 100km/h in the 50km/h zone on Puhinui Rd.

When he reached a red light at the busy intersection with Great South Rd, he veered around stationary vehicles and continued regardless.

Police followed as he turned on to Boundary Rd and saw Pora try to pass another car.

He hit a raised centre island used to mark a pedestrian crossing, which saw him skid out of control onto the wrong side of the road.

Pateine Laki Sekene, travelling in the other direction, could not avoid the oncoming car and there was a head on smash.

Pora was taken to Middlemore Hospital with life-threatening injuries, while Mr Sekene had a less-severe shoulder issue.

Mr Te Pania died on the road.

While Pora was in hospital, police took a blood sample which gave a reading of 127 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

The new limit is 50 milligrams.

When the defendant was well enough to speak to police he admitted he had driven at speeds "way over the limit" but said it was at the victim's request.

"He claimed that the complainant Te Pania had encouraged him to drive off at speed to 'lose' the police, during the initial stages of the pursuit", court documents said.

Pora will be sentenced in May.