Police probe after laser strike hits Air New Zealand flight

Laser light in cockpit.
Laser lights can cause temporary blindness with pilots. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Police in Kerikeri are investigating a report that an Air New Zealand aircraft was hit by a green laser light at Kerikeri Airport on Thursday morning.

Constable Rhys Dempster of Kerikeri Police said the aircraft had just departed when the incident occured at 1500 feet at 6:10am.

The incident follows calls from pilots for more to be done about incidents involving laser pointers.

Civil Aviation Authority figures show that there were 155 reported laser incidents to the end of November 2017. That's up from 152 incidents in total for 2016.

Laser perpetrators can face up to three years in jail or a fine of $2000 if convicted of possession of a high-power laser or up to 14 years in jail if convicted under the Crimes Act for endangering transport.

Police say the incident is being taken seriously, and has asked anyone who may know more about the laser strike to contact them.