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Peter Gatonyi was having a coffee outside the Antarctic Centre when he says he saw lightning strike near the Christchurch Airport control tower.
"It was just a big hit of lightning it was like a massive noise it was pretty cool," he said.
Said a Christchurch Airport spokeswoman Yvonne Densem: "I can confirm there was a lightning strike here which hit the ground in a car park near the airways control tower.
"There are no reports of injury or damage.
"Three aircraft were held on the taxiway, and any aircraft due to depart waited until operations resumed, which is standard practice."
Passengers at the airport were warned to stay inside the terminal.
An announcement was made, recommending people remain indoors until the lightning storm was over.
"Airways, which manages air traffic movements, also has two aircraft sitting on taxiways awaiting clearance to move," she said.