A drone spotted near Auckland Airport disrupted flights earlier this evening.

An airport spokeswoman said it was flying at a height of 12,000 feet (3.65 kilometres) around 800 metres east of the Southern Motorway and about 7.2 kilometres from the airport.

As a result, six flights were delayed but only for around 15 minutes before all flight schedules were back to normal, the spokeswoman said.

Around 7pm a passenger on board a flight from Wellington said they were told over the intercom a drone had been spotted.

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The passenger said they circled in the air above the city for around 10 minutes before touching down on the tarmac.

Flights from Wellington, Taupo, Brisbane and Queenstown were all circling the airport, waiting to land around 7pm.