New Zealand telcos Spark and Vodafone are urging customers to return their Samsung Galaxy Note 7s but say they have halted the replacement programme pending an investigation.

Both companies said customers that had purchased a Note 7 from them could return it for a refund, or swap it for another phone.

Samsung halted sales of the smartphone and has encouraged users to power them off and return them after several 'safe' replacement models caught fire.

"We are aware of a small number of issues being reported with the replacement Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones," said a Vodafone spokesperson.

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"We are in close contact with Samsung about these reports and will keep our customers updated. Since the initial reports, Vodafone has not been selling the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Device," they said.

"The safety of our customers is the most important factor here and we have paused the replacement programme pending the outcome of Samsung's investigation of the most recent reports."

The announcement follows several new incidents of overheating last week and deals a further blow to the world's largest smartphone company.

US consumer safety officials said they're investigating five incidents of fire or overheating since the company announced a recall last month and cost estimates are now in the billions.