Andrew Little was on an Air New Zealand flight that was struck by lightning this morning.

The Labour Party leader has tweeted his flight from Wellington was struck, about 10 minutes out of Auckland.

It landed safely.

It's his first experience of a lightning strike in mid-air.


Mr Little says there was a big bang, a few bumps, then the reassuring voice of the captain, saying everything was alright.

He told Newstalk ZB: "We were about ten minutes out from Auckland, there was a flash of light and then a big bang and a few little bumps. We carried on flying and then the captain came on a couple of minutes later and stated we'd been struck by lightning, that the aircraft was designed for it, everything was okay and we'd be landing soon which we did."

He said people just sort of accepted it. "I think there was a bit of stunned silence at first, there was no panic that I could tell."

He said the captain was very reassuring.

"Captain came on, explained it and plane seemed to be functioning perfectly well and I don't think anybody was particularly worried about it."

The Labour press secretary and passenger on board the flight Jodi Ihaka said it was a scary experience but passengers were reassured after the ordeal by the pilot.

Air NZ confirmed the incident had taken place.

"Air New Zealand flight NZ410 from Wellington to Auckland landed without incident and as scheduled around 9:20am after encountering a lightning strike on its approach to Auckland. The aircraft will be inspected by engineers in line with normal process."

Air New Zealand says that lightning strikes are not uncommon and aircraft are designed with this in mind.