At first it looked like a distress flare, but as it got bigger and bigger Gary Wheaton realised he was likely witnessing a meteor.

It was about 1.15pm today, and Wheaton was at home in Paekakariki on his day off relaxing inside when he saw a bright light out the window.

"It was just like a flare, heading east towards Oz, but it was white and just got bigger and bigger, and then kind of disintegrated."

While he had seen them at night, he'd never noticed one during the day.

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"It was quite bright. I was just a little bewildered, not expecting that."

There have also been reports of someone in Murchison witnessing the suspected meteor around a similar time.

A police spokeswoman said they received a report about 1.15pm about what the caller thought was a distress flare off Kāpiti Coast.

However, police suspected it was likely a meteor, she said.