Charge dropped to manslaughter for Liam Strickland - driver involved in horror Christchurch hit-and-run

The family of a pedestrian killed in a hit and run are disappointed a charge of murder was dropped in place of manslaughter. 

Liam Stickland, the driver of the vehicle that hit their son, was fleeing police when the fatal crash happened.

Strickland appeared at the High Court in Christchurch via Audio Visual Link from prison on Friday.

The 22-year-old is facing a raft of charges following the incident in New Brighton last year where he was fleeing police in a stolen van, when he struck and killed pedestrian Dean Amies.

Initially charged with murder, Strickland made a surprise guilty plea to manslaughter on Friday.

Strickland fled the crime scene sparking a nine-day manhunt across Canterbury - that saw multiple properties raided as armed police searched for him.

At Friday's hearing, Strickland also pleaded guilty to seven other charges - including assaulting a police officer with a motor vehicle, failing to stop, and driving while disqualified.

Amies' family were in court for the hearing.

"We are not happy about the manslaughter charge," one family member said following the hearing.