A 9-year-old boy who died in a quad bike crash while rounding up cows in the Waikato has been remembered as popular and big-hearted.

The boy died on a dairy farm on Arapuni Rd, Kihikihi, last night.

Police said they were called to the scene at about 8.30pm.

The boy was a student of Kihikihi Primary School. He had a brother and a step-sister who also attended the school.

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His teacher, also the school's deputy principal, Dion Marchioni, said the news was a huge shock.

He said the school started back for the year on Tuesday.

"That's the biggest shock for us at the moment — to know he was here yesterday and to hear the news today that he won't be with us anymore."

Marchioni said the student was well-liked around the school.

"He was full of energy, excelled in sports and had a big heart."

"It's a very sad day for the students and staff today. It's a big loss and quite raw at the moment."

"We're also thinking about the family and what they must be going through."

He said the student had been at Kihikihi Primary School for six months, prior to that he was at Wharepapa South School.

"It's school as normal today. Some of the students are quite upset but we're all managing as best we can."

Kihikihi Primary School was receiving support from the Ministry of Education.