Extra-terrestrial movement in South Canterbury skies need no longer go untold.

The UFO Focus New Zealand Research Network (UFOCUS NZ) has developed a web-based formal reporting system for any sightings of unidentified flying objects in the country.

The system should attract plenty of interest in South Canterbury as at the centre of their latest investigations is a sighting near Mount Peel.

Hamilton Air Traffic Controller and UFOCUS NZ investigator Graeme Opie said the sighting was reported by a dairy farmer bringing his cows in for milking at a property near Hinds about 7.15pm on Friday March 30.

The lights, which were seen towards Mount Peel, were making sudden movements which meant it could not have been a plane or helicopter, he said.

The sighting has been just one of 48 reports of strange objects in New Zealand skies UFOCUS NZ has received in the last 12 months.

South Canterbury is also no stranger to UFO sightings, according to Herald archives there was a large number of sightings in the 1970s and 80s.

In April 1973 a "mystery ball" which was believed to have come from outer space, was found among rocks near a stream in the Hakataramea Valley. The ball was identical to two other balls found about the same time near Ashburton.

In 1977 brown circles of various sizes were found on Waiwera Station near the Mackenzie Pass and a year later a Taiko farmer spotted a large UFO hurtling towards earth.

A number of people have claimed to see UFO's off the coast near Otaio and near Waimate but in 1981 it was the Thew family of Temuka who were convinced that UFO's did exist when they claimed a multi-coloured flying object paced them along the Waitohi Road.

Mr Opie said New Zealand had a rich history of UFO sightings with renowned events such as the Kaikoura lights, the Ngatea landing site mystery, and the Gisborne UFO flap that took place in the late 70s.

He said while some of the reports were explained by natural phenomena or other conventional causes, the majority could not be similarly explained.

"The formal documentation of sightings will enable more efficient investigation to take place on the subject, which will lead to more comprehensive research into these intriguing phenomena."