An Air New Zealand flight bound for Rarotonga was delayed this morning after a passenger's phone battery overheated, sparking safety fears.

The flight was about to take off from Auckland International Airport shortly before 9am, but was delayed for around 45 minutes due to the concerns.

A passenger posted on Facebook about the incident and said the plane had been about to take off when the captain came into the cabin, telling passengers they were returning to a safe zone on the runway.

"This is because a passenger with new Samsung phone reports that even though it's turned off, it's so hot they can't touch it," the post said.

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The passenger said the phone owner had been worried it was about to explode.

An Air New Zealand spokesperson confirmed NZ46 returned to the gate prior to take off after a customer raised concerned with crew about "their cell phone potentially overheating".

"The phone's battery was removed and the flight departed for Rarotonga shortly after."