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The teen, who cannot yet be named, entered a guilty plea to a charge of manslaughter at the High Court in Christchurch on Friday morning.
Kenneth Patrick Gerard McCaul, 64, died in the crash at the intersection of Idris Rd and Glandovey Rd shortly after 4am on October 22.
Four passengers, all in their teens, were taken to hospital with what police described at the time as "moderate injuries".
The Canterbury teenager, appearing in the dock wearing a suit and supported in the courtroom by family members, also admitted a charge of reckless driving causing injury to one of his passengers.
Justice Rachel Dunningham remanded him on continued bail for sentencing on December 16.
McCaul was killed when the car he was in was T-boned by the teen's vehicle. The car had failed to stop for police and a four-minute pursuit began which included the vehicle running a red light, police have said.
McCaul was driving to work early to secure a car park and had planned to sleep in his car before starting his shift at Christchurch Hospital.
Canterbury metro area commander Superintendent Lane Todd had said the officers involved in the pursuit were receiving support from police.
"The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation and as such we're unable to release further details at this stage.
"I want to offer my sincerest condolences to the loved ones of Mr McCaul."