Air NZ flight struck by lightning

thunderstorm lightning (Getty)
The plane was flying from Auckland to Kerikeri (Getty / file)

Severe weather battering the country has forced an Air New Zealand flight to turn around after it was struck by lightning.

Flight NZ8678 was flying from Auckland to Kerikeri on Thursday afternoon when it was hit by a bolt of lightning.

It returned to Auckland as a precaution and is being checked over by engineers, an Air NZ spokesperson told Newshub.

"The aircraft landed at 2:20pm without incident and customers onboard are being accommodated on alternate services."

The storm has been causing problems across the country, particularly the North Island.

Coromandel and Northland have been flooded and heavy rain warnings have been issued by MetService, warning of flash floods, high rivers and hazardous driving conditions.

NIWA has described Wednesday's rain as a one-in-100 year deluge for some areas.

It's set to get even worse for Saturday, according to MetService.