New Zealand UFO/UAP Sightings 2016

All sightings, photographs, drawings and articles are © Ufocus NZ.

The extent of our investigation and analysis of sighting reports is dependent upon the data received, and the length of time elapsed between the sighting event and the receipt of a report.  If applicable, additional comments are made at the bottom of a report.

Date: Friday 19 August 2016

Time: approx. 10.10 pm

Location: Waitahanui, Sthn. end of Five Mile Bay, Lake Taupo, North Island

Features/characteristics: kidney-shaped object with bright white lights


Duration of sighting 1-2 minutes.

The witness stated: “The incident happened at approximately 10.10 pm. While I was passing through a small township named Waitahanui (southern end of 5 mile Bay on the eastern shore of Lake Taupo) en route through Rainbow Point to Taupo town centre, I spotted two bright lights hovering above the red light (aircraft beacon) at Taupo Airport. I assumed it was an aircraft, from the distance I was from the lights.

Witness’s Photoshop drawing of the object.

As I got closer to the airport, I remembered the regular aircraft and helicopters had blinking lights on their tails, so this was incredibly unusual. Furthermore, Taupo Airport was closed for the night. I then realised that it was a hovering object, stationery above the beacon, with two massive white lights at its base. I rounded a curve and proceeded onto a long straight on the lake edge highway, and as I began driving perpendicular to the object, it started moving towards me. I thought to myself that it was just a coincidence, and that the unusual “aircraft” was just going to pass behind me.

However it moved steadily towards my vehicle as if it was following me. This is when I got a good visual of the object. It had a kidney-shaped base with two massive white lights at the bottom. If I was to guess its altitude above my vehicle it would have been about 20 to 30 feet, and its size was roughly that of 4-5 regular sized cars side-by-side. There seemed to be no obvious form of propulsion, and it was also rotating slowly. I had my window down slightly and there was no sound coming from it either. The object then sped up a little, hovering over my vehicle and pacing me for some distance along the straight. I hit my foot on the accelerator because I was scared, and it shone an expansive spotlight on my car. I accelerated along the straight doing well in excess of 150 km/h.

The next thing I knew, I looked back and the large object had accelerated away into clouds some distance away over the lake. It wasn’t a small acceleration either – it was incredibly fast, faster than any conventional aircraft could ever travel over that distance. As it was speeding away, its two lights began pulsating.
I decided to report this incident as it felt as if the object specifically targeted me. I am usually a sceptic, but the manoeuvres this object made were possible, almost gravity-defying.”

Ufocus NZ comment: 

This is possibly the first report of a kidney-shaped object in NZ.  We have heard from a researcher in California, USA, that there have been sightings of a kidney-shaped object reported there in recent months.

Sketch provided by colleague Robert Salas (USA), of a kidney-shaped object observed hovering near Ojai, California recently.  The object had coloured lights moving around either within, or underneath it.

Date: Friday 29 July 2016

Time: around midnight

Location: Sunnynook Park, North Shore, Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: airborne object


Conditions: patchy clouds, moon half visible. Duration of sighting 4-7 seconds.

The witness and a friend were in Sunnynook Park when they heard a strange noise, unlike a normal aircraft. They looked up and saw an object with lights on it shoot across the sky. The object then changed direction sharply and shot directly upwards into the sky and disappeared.

Date: Wednesday 13 July 2016

Time: between 2.40-3.20 am

Location: Ellesmere, Christchurch, South Island

Features/characteristics: circular object with propulsion


Clear sky with stars. Duration of sighting 1 minute or so.

Witness’s drawing of the object’s shape.

The witness was outside when he saw a light beyond trees, coming from the direction of Rakaia. He thought it was an aircraft until it flew into clear view and over his house at a relatively low altitude estimated to be 100-200 metres. The object was circular with an extension which created the “rear” of the circle. There were 2 or 3 white lights underneath, and a flashing red light near the extension. It was not until the object flew past, and was headed north-east towards Leeston, that the witness noticed the extension, which he described as being like a” rocket thruster”, making a loud noise. It was lost from view beyond trees.

Date: Sunday 3 July 2016

Time: approx. 8.30-9.00 pm

Location: Huntsbury, Christchurch, South Island

Features/characteristics: black triangular object


Clear, still evening. Duration of sighting 15-20 seconds.

The witness was outside having a cigarette and watching a moving object “among the stars”, which she thought might be a satellite. A few minutes later she saw another object “appear from nowhere”, from the north-west over the Beckenham area, crossing over the Cashmere/west Huntsbury area, and heading towards the Port Hills.

Figure 1. North west

Figure 2. Object moving to west of my balcony. Approx 5km away.

Figure 3. Object moving out of view, heading south to south east.

The object was a dark triangular shape with yellow lights under each of the three points, and trailing a short whitish misty glow. It was travelling at a lower altitude than that of the light aircraft the witness is familiar with watching, on training circuits from the airport. The witness stated it was moving faster than the usual plane traffic she can see from her house, but noted there was a curious slight wobble to its movement, not flying smoothly.

The witness estimated the object was approximately 1 km away (however distance and altitude is difficult to ascertain in the night sky). There was no sound from the object.

The witness lost sight of the object as it disappeared beyond a rise behind her house, heading in the direction of the Port Hills.

Date: Sunday 6 March

Time: approx 12.30 am

Location: The Lakes, Tauranga, North Island

Features/characteristics: bright green-yellow light/shaped object descending


Clear weather conditions. Duration of sighting 10 seconds.

Witness’s illustration

The witness was in an upstairs room when it suddenly became illuminated with a green glow. Looking out the window to the south, she saw a large exceptionally brilliant green-yellow light descending fast and low from a south-to-north direction, and lighting up the sky and surrounding area.

As the light descended closer, the witness at first thought it was a large round light, but then saw that it had a distinct shape, flat on the bottom and curved or domed on top. The shape seemed to be “lit from within”, or glowing.

The light descended at speed directly towards the Lakes residential area, before suddenly changing direction at speed and descending almost vertically (slight angle) in a peculiar and rapid manner. The witness described how this rapid change of direction occurred in one swift movement, without the light slowing.  The witness lost sight of it as it descended below roof-top level, possibly into a restricted access area of rural land beyond the housing area.

The next day the witness attempted to find the place the light had descended into, however this area of land is closed off to the public as heavy earthworks are taking place. The area has lakes and valleys.

Window from where object was seen, as illustrated above.

The witness sat at the window with binoculars for around an hour afterwards, in the hope she might see the object ascend and leave, however she saw nothing further.

There was no sonic boom.

Date: Sunday 6 March 2016

Time: 8.12 pm

Location: North Shore, Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: large airborne boomerang-shaped object


Conditions cloudy. Duration of sighting approximately 30 seconds.

The witness was driving up Tristram Avenue, on the North Shore of Auckland, towards Forrest Hill Road when he saw an airborne object which he thought was a bird. However, he then estimated that the object was out over the Hauraki Gulf in the vicinity of Rangitoto Island. The Island had cloud around it and the object came out of the cloud. It was shaped like a large grey boomerang. The witness viewed it while parked at traffic lights. It circled and re-entered the cloud and he did not see it again.

Date: Friday 26 February 2016

Time: 4.35 am

Location: Katikati, BOP, North Island

Features/characteristics: airborne object surrounded by red strobing light


Clear, starry sky with perfect visibility. No cloud or wind. Duration of sighting several seconds.

Witness’s drawing

The witness was up in the early hours of the morning and felt an urge to go outside the house. Venus was visible and the witness was admiring the bright planet when an airborne object appeared, moving quickly in a straight line from east to west over the Katikati town-ship. At that relatively close distance it seemed to be the size of a helicopter body, but with an extension at the back looking almost like a fiery tail. The whole object was surrounded by a strobing red glow/light which made it difficult to identify the actual shape. It passed at speed, heading towards Tauranga and the Kaimai Range, and was lost from view when obscured by a large oak tree.

The witness stated it was unusual that she felt an absolute urge to go outside just seconds before the sighting

Date: Sunday 18 January 2015

Time: approx. 10.45 – 11.00 pm

Location: Longwood Forest, Southland, South Island

Features/characteristics: airborne bright light


Conditions clear sky. Gusty nor-easter. Duration of sighting approximately 2 minutes.

The witness and a family member were out on an evening hunt, and approximately 10 minutes away from their vehicle. The witness remarked how clear the sky was after some foul weather earlier in the afternoon, when he noticed a bright light moving across the sky which passed at a rapid pace. The flight path was not a perfect arc, but fluctuating. The light suddenly stopped dead, reversed direction, made a sudden, erratic course change to the north, then slowly continued on roughly the same flight path.

At that time, the witness and his family member continued walking along the forestry track and the light was obscured momentarily by pine trees. Visual contact was lost for no more than 10-15 seconds at the most, and when their view was clear again the light had gone. Clear sky was visible in all directions and it would have been impossible for any standard/known aircraft to perform such acceleration.

No sound was noticed and the object was upwind from their location during the sighting. No conventional navigation lights were observed.

No lights were in use by the hunters at the time, and their eyes had fully adjusted to the night light conditions.

Date: Sunday 3 January 2016

Time: 10.00 pm

Location: Waihi Road, Tauranga, Nth Island

Features/characteristics: black delta-shaped object


Conditions overcast, calm with no wind and patchy cloud. Duration of sighting five seconds.

The witness was outside talking to a neighbour when he looked up and saw a silhouette emerging from over the roof. The object was black, delta-shaped and very large, travelling from the direction of Tauranga City towards the Kaimai Range and Te Aroha.

It was gliding quietly at a height of 500 metres and as it passed the witness could hear a pulsating noise similar to a spin dryer as the object went into cloud. The noise increased, then went quiet, but before the noise stopped the cloud flashed green.

The witness lives on a flight path to Tauranga Airport and checked the Flight Awareness website which confirmed there were no planes around Tauranga at that time.

Date: Sunday 3 January 2016

Time: 9.30pm

Location: Mokoroa Valley, Waitakere Ranges, North Island

Features/characteristics: delta-shaped object


Overcast sky, no wind. Duration of sighting 2 minutes.

The witnesses, both farmers, observed two orange lights flying up the Mokoroa Valley over their farm and towards their house. The lights were approximately 200 m apart and initially around 150-200 m above ground level. Their house is nestled under a ridge and they have a clear view across to the Muriwai ridge.

As the lights approached their house, one of the lights went out and silhouetted against the sky the witnesses were able to see a delta-shaped object that passed silently over their house at an even speed of approximately 50 km/h, and on a straight NW to E trajectory. There was no air disturbance or wind force. The witnesses considered this an eerie experience as New Zealand air force aircraft regularly fly over their house heading towards Whenuapai Air Base, and these aircraft usually make a lot of noise, however these objects were completely silent (the witnesses did not actually see the second object, only its light). The object was lost from view as it flew over the treetops and ridge behind their house.  The witness described it as being “like a giant bat”.

The second light flew the same course, but around 200 m to the south heading in the same direction, with its orange light still visible.

Ufocus NZ comment: see similar reports in December on our 2015 Sightings page.
We are awaiting a sketch of the object from the witnesses.
Note: the US C17 Globemaster aircraft involved in military exercises, seen flying around NZ, left our country in November 2015.

Date: Friday 1 January 2016

Time: 12.10 – 12.15 am

Location: Papakura, Auckland, North Island

Features/characteristics: orange lights


Patches of light cloud, gentle breeze. Duration of sighting approximately 30 seconds.

Four witnesses were outside celebrating New Year when they saw an intense and usual red light approaching from the east. Four lights arranged in a chevron formation flew directly overhead in a westerly direction traveling at a fast pace without any accompanying noise. The witness described the lights as traveling at “incredible speed”. The lights then just disappeared from sight.

30 seconds later, another light flew over the observers heads traveling faster than the others. A sixth light approached much slower from the same direction, with a smaller red light behind it. The two lights were secured by a tree and did not re-emerge from behind it. The lights did not flicker in any way, traveled on a straight trajectory, and did not deviate in speed or direction.

Ufocus NZ comment: given that this sighting occurred immediately after New Year, it is logical to suggest these lights were sky lanterns released from a New Year celebration. Having said this though, we have also received sightings of two delta-shaped objects with orange lights underneath that have been seen in various parts of the country, and which make no sound. However these witnesses did not actually report seeing an object, just lights moving at different speeds on air currents, and seeming to disappear. This description is consistent with sky lanterns burning out. We note the witnesses were adamant that they were seeing two craft. They were not able to ascertain altitude or distance at night, without visible reference points.