The search continues for a diver missing off Canterbury's Banks Peninsula.

Police say a 42-year-old man was expected to surface at 9:45am today but after failing to do so, authorities were alerted at around 10am.

The search is at a top Akaroa diving spot where until 3pm today, a helicopter and up to eight boats searched the area between Damon's Bay and Flea Bay.

The New Zealand Police Dive Squad will continue the search this afternoon.


"All we have at the moment is that police were notified this morning of a possible missing diver in the area of Damon's Bay and Flea Bay, near Banks Peninsula," a police spokeswoman said.

"There is a search involving the Coastguard and a rescue helicopter."