The young boy who has been killed in a tragic farm accident was about to celebrate his birthday with family.

Alex Mackle, 9, died when he fell underneath a vehicle while on the farm with his father.

"Alex was a loving little guy with a cheerful nature and a cheeky smile," the family said in a statement.

"He loved his family and friends and being outdoors.

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'Words cannot express the heartbreak that we are feeling right now and we ask for privacy as we grieve for Alex."

It was believed his father, farmer Simon Mackle, was moving some cattle and standing at a gate when the vehicle Alex was in started rolling backwards.

As Alex tried to escape he fell underneath the vehicle.

On Friday, emergency services were called to the property on Inland Kaikoura Rd at 6pm.

A police spokesperson said the matter was being investigated.

WorkSafe would also be investigating the incident.

According to WorkSafe statistics six people died working in the agricultural sector from vehicle related injuries last year.

Four of these incidents involved quad bikes.

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