Police have named one of the two people who died in a hang glider accident at Queenstown today.

He was 34-year-old Andrew Michael Scotland, a volunteer firefighter from Waipu, 41km southeast of Whangarei.

Mr Scotland was the passenger in the tandem hang glider.

The pilot of the hang glider, who worked for Queenstown company Skytrek, has not yet been named.

Mr Scotland had been in Queenstown attending a fire safety officers' conference, Detective Sergeant Grahme Bartlett of Queenstown police said.

He had stayed behind in the tourist town after the conference, along with four others, specifically to take part in the morning's flight, Mr Bartlett said.

The flight had taken off from an area known as The Knoll on the Remarkables this morning.

About 10.15am it crashed in Boyd's Paddock off Kingston Rd at Kelvin Heights, a southern suburb of Queenstown.

Both passenger and pilot died on impact.

The hang glider was extensively damaged and a reserve chute was found close to the craft, Mr Bartlett said.

Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Bill Sommer said an investigator was on his way to Queenstown to investigate.

Mr Bartlett said the hang glider was one of two which took off from The Knoll.

One landed safely and turned to see the other crash in the paddock.

"He's turned around and seen the hang glider go straight into the ground," Mr Bartlett told the Southland Times.

There were five witnesses to the crash, he said.

The police have not yet spoken directly to the hang gliding owners.

Skytrek specialises in guided hang-gliding, allowing tourists to fly with an experienced pilot.

According to Skytrek's website, the company was established in 1992 and has flown more than 39,000 customers.

It has five pilots on staff.

Skytrek owner Ian Clark has twice represented New Zealand in the World Hang Gliding Champs and has held the New Zealand hang gliding distance record for 11 years.

- NZPA