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Kenneth McCaul, 64, was killed when a Toyota the police were chasing smashed into his Hyundai at an intersection in Fendalton at 4am.
The police said the five occupants in the Toyota they were chasing suffered critical to moderate injuries and are still in hospital. Police are still to decide if any charges will be laid.
RNZ spoke to several of his neighbours who said he was a keen gardener and a caring, hard-working man, who would be missed.
Stan Dalley said his late neighbour worked "as a nurse.. doing bloods in the wards. He was a very caring man and I am just so shocked".
He said Mr McCaul would travel to work well before his shift started in order to find a car park at Christchurch Hospital and would sleep there until his shift started in the morning.
Mr McCaul, along with husband Owen Fraser, lived in Kaiapoi, just north of Christchurch, and Mr Dalley said they kept a beautiful home and garden.
"Well it was a showpiece [garden]. They used to enter it in competitions, all the flowers along [the fence] are a tribute to him and you would see him out there working," he said.
Another neighbour, Jack Crawford, said he was still processing the news.
"Well, being a good neighbour like that ... takes a while to sink in," Mr Crawford said.
Canterbury Metro Area Commander Superintendent Lane Todd said the fleeing car was speeding at the time of the crash and the chase lasted just over four minutes.
The actions of the officer involved in the chase are being investigated by the Independent Police Conduct Authority.