Long-time motorsport photographer Kevin Corin was killed in a "freak accident" after being hit by a rally car during a one-day event in North Canterbury on Saturday.

Corin, who had more than 45 years of experience, died while at the Royce Watson Memorial Hanmer Rally which ran across several forestry roads around Hanmer Springs and was run by the Autosport Club.

He had been a fixture of Canterbury rallying and motorsport photography for the past eight years, attending every event on in the area, Autosport Club president Graham Wilson said.

"He is very a good guy and he will be sadly missed," Wilson said.

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Although an investigation is currently underway, Wilson said it appeared to be a horrible accident.

MotorSport New Zealand president Wayne Christie confirmed the death of the photographer on Saturday night.

"The photographer was struck by a car competing in the rally, the car having travelled a considerable distance off the rally route," he said.

The competitors in the car were uninjured and the police's Serious Crash Unit is investigating.



"Our thoughts are with the photographer's family and friends, all those involved in the Hanmer Rally and our motorsport community as a whole who are understandably affected by this tragedy.

"As with any incident of this nature, MotorSport New Zealand will undertake a full investigation into the incident, a process which starts with an accident report from Autosport Car Club officials, as the rally organisers," Christie said.

Police were called just after 5pm to Hanmer Forest.

St John were not called until nearly an hour later.

MotorSport New Zealand chief executive Brian Budd said photographers on the course didn't have a designated area to set up, but must be accredited by MotorSport NZ and were given instructions on where it is safe to be while taking photos.

"Unfortunately the car went off the road and managed to reach where he was standing - [that] is my understanding.

"Events run to strict safety plans. This is just a freak accident ... that's my initial thought at this point."

Corin's photography website details that from the early 1970s he "was always involved in some form of motorsport", serving as an apprentice motor mechanic for the successful race and rally Ford dealer, Panmure Motors.

In the late 70s he headed to England to further his career, working alongside New Zealand journalist Murray Taylor who won the British F3 championship in 1982 with Tommy Byrne.

He returned to New Zealand in the 80s to continue to pursue photography.

Tributes for the photographer have flowed in from the Canterbury rallying community, with several people saying Corin was a good photographer and a great bloke.

Roger Nees, the founder of Nees Racing in Kaiapoi, said he wanted to acknowledge the loss of a "dear friend".

"Kevin and I were always sharing skills to allow each of us to accomplish our hobbies plus Kaiapoi Trailers were always valued support partners within our race team.

"Recently Kevin reinvigorated his work in rebuilding his Lotus 7 and he would always still make time to offer assistance to us on our race car," he posted to Corin's Facebook

Amateur rally driver Mat Sisson also paid tribute to the photographer.

"Thanks for the great memories champ. Your skills and passion will be missed."

Another driver, Adrienne Silcock, said Corin was always a "true professional" and a calendar he had with one his pictures would be, a "forever reminder of his skill and passion".

Clayton Vernal remembered him not only as a "top-notch photographer" but an "awesome guy with a sense of humour".

"Kevin had a unique outlook on life and always made me laugh."