Police have been cleared of any wrongdoing in a chase which resulted in the death of a passenger in a fleeing vehicle.

Steven Henare Te Pania died following the August 15 incident when a car driven by his friend Robert Pora, 26, flipped and come to rest on its roof on Boundary Rd in south Auckland during a police pursuit.

Pora has pleaded guilty to a number of charges related to the incident, including manslaughter.

An Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) report into the incident, released today, said police followed policy during the pursuit, and blamed Pora's actions for the "tragic consequences for an innocent man and his family".


Pora failed to stop for police after officers witnessed his white Mitsubishi overtake a vehicle at a speed of about 80km/h in a 50km/h speed zone on Puhinui Rd, Papatoetoe, about 10pm, the IPCA said.

It later emerged the car was unlicensed and unwarranted.

"When the officers followed the vehicle onto Preston Rd, approaching the roundabout with Boundary Rd, they could see the brake lights of the Mitsubishi about 200m away.

"Shortly after Mr Pora entered Boundary Rd he collided with a central road bollard, losing control of the vehicle before colliding with another vehicle."

Mr Te Pania died from his injuries. The driver of the other vehicle, Pateine Laki Sekene, suffered minor injuries, while Pora himself was severely injured.

"This incident resulted in the tragic loss of life to a young man due to the actions of the fleeing driver, Mr Pora," IPCA chairman Judge Sir David Carruthers said.

"In releasing this report the authority has found the police officers involved acted appropriately and professionally and complied with police policies during the short 52 second pursuit."

In the wake of the incident, Pora was charged with manslaughter, reckless driving causing injury, driving under the influence of alcohol, failing to stop for police, and driving while disqualified.


He pleaded guilty to the charges in the High Court at Auckland on March 4.

It was revealed Pora admitted to police officers who interviewed him in hospital 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.

Sir David said the authority was ready to release its report in November, but ongoing criminal proceedings relating to the incident "prevented it from doing so".