Timaruvians may soon get a chance to see the large, star-like object in the sky that has excited believers and astronomical experts around the world.
The enormous spiral light with its glowing centre was seen over Norway on December 9.
The Share International Foundation said the sighting was a sign that Maitreya, the World Teacher, would soon appear in his first television interview, which will take place in the United States.
However, Defence Ministry officials in Moscow admitted it was the exploding trail of Russia's latest intercontinental ballistic missile, which had gone up in smoke.
The foundation's South Island spokeswoman, Val Parker, a former Timaruvian, said "there are two versions – believe what you like".
The foundation says the "star" is one of four enormous spacecraft placed around the Earth. Since last December many sightings have been reported on YouTube and television news.
In New Zealand, there have been three sightings, with photographs to document them. The first was in the upper North Island on February 17, which was followed by sightings in Cambridge and Auckland in April.
South Canterbury's Transmission Meditation said the best way to see the star was by facing the west at sunset, taking a photo and studying it closely.
A spokesperson said "there's going to be a World Teacher come forward and he's going to suggest how we might do things better".
- The Timaru Herald