UFOs in New Zealand: What Kiwis see in the skies

There have been 30 sightings of unidentified flying objects reported to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) since the dawn of the millennium.

Auckland had the most sightings - seven - followed by Hamilton and Christchurch with three each.

The first sighting since the millennium bug failed to strike took place in Wellington on June 1, 2000, in Evans Bay. While the CAA document supplied to Newshub doesn't go into any detail, the Press in 2010 reported there were two ships - one "a small triangular shape with an orange light at the back and a white beam of light at the front" and the other "larger, with a white light".

A witness said the larger "mothership" beamed a light across Evans Bay Pde.

The next reported sighting didn't come until October 26, 2003, when a "disc-shaped silver UFO with erratic vertical and horizontal movements" was seen in Tauranga. According to the witness, it entered via the city's harbour and hung around Seventh Ave.

Later that year in November, a bright light was seen moving side-to-side on two days in row at Tokomaru Bay.

Do UFOs abduct cows? If they do, New Zealand would be a good place to go.
Do UFOs abduct cows? If they do, New Zealand would be a good place to go. Photo credit: Getty

In 2004, Auckland got its first UFO of the new millennium - red, green and white lights seen in Mt Richmond, with nothing showing up on radar. And down in Whanganui, two objects were seen flying "very high" without making any noise or leaving a vapour trail.

In 2007, several people at St Cuthbert's College in Auckland's swanky Epsom saw "UFO-type bright lights" near the Southern Cross constellation, while Palmerston North had a slightly less impressive report of "an aircraft or UFO".

In 2009, a witness in the small Manawatu town of Kimbolton saw a UFO "similar to a light aircraft but with flames coming out of it", which shouldn't be happening.

In 2011 a North Shore resident saw something similar - a "red fiery ball about a third the size of the moon" moving southeast at low speed. Meanwhile, a "fast-moving" UFO wowed Lower Hutt residents in the early hours of the morning.

The following year 10 bright but silent UFOs were spotted west of Hamilton, and a fast-moving craft with a light at the front was spotted in Seddon. Down south in Dunedin, a "bright light" was seen falling from the sky, getting bigger as it got closer to the ground.

2013 was a bumper year for UFO spotters in New Zealand. Two silent lights were seen in Cambridge, four orange lights travelling in unision about a kilometre apart wowed Christchurch, and a strange light appeared more than once over Whangaruru Bay in the Far North.

Fox Mulder sees a UFO in The X-Files.
Fox Mulder sees a UFO in The X-Files. Photo credit: Ten Thirteen/Fox

There were also sightings in the Bay of Plenty and Masterton. In Greytown, witnesses were concerned a UFO that appeared the week before Christmas "may be a hazard", while "UFO movement [was] quite heavy over Hamilton central".

In 2014, a reported UFO seen in west Auckland was probably an internet-carrying Loon balloon, the CAA said. There were also sightings in Christchurch and west Hamilton.

Over the next couple of years an orange "blob" was seen over Orewa, a red and orange light in Harewood, Christchurch, and a UFO that looked like a "dark coloured blimp-shaped balloon" about a metre long came close to a passing aircraft.

New Zealand's most infamous UFO sighting came in 1978 in Kaikoura. The Air Force was even asked to investigate by then-Prime Minister Robert Muldoon.

The official explanation was lights from boats being reflected off clouds, unburnt meteors, and/or the planet Venus.