Homeless man killed in Christchurch hit-and-run

Police have left a Christchurch property empty-handed as the search for the man accused of a fatal hit-and-run continues.

Twenty-one-year-old Liam Strickland is wanted in relation to the incident in New Brighton on Wednesday.

Search dogs are being used around schools and homes to hunt the suspect down.

Liam Strickland.
Liam Strickland. Photo credit: Supplied

The victim was a homeless man who'd been living in his van, Christchurch homeless charity Street Wise said on Thursday morning.

Trudy Burrows, owner of Community Fridge and Pantry, said there was a "sadness around the community" on Thursday.

"They're just very sad. Some are angry... it seemed such a silly thing to happen, such a waste."

Burrows said the victim was "one of the quieter ones, but he had great manners and he was always a 'please and thank you' man. He was very appreciative of everything he did get."

How the tragedy unfolded

Police were following a speeding vehicle on Wednesday afternoon, but called it off shortly afterward because of its erratic driving.

Two people were arrested without incident, but the third stole another vehicle and rammed a police van.

The victim was hit at a nearby intersection. 

Police are seeking 21-year-old Strickland, saying he's dangerous and should not be approached.

"Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to call 111," said Supt Mike Johnson.

He's 182cm tall, of medium build with dark hair. He has tattoos on his forehead and right cheek.

The serious crash unit and Independent Police Conduct Authority are also investigating the incident.