A passenger who objected to wearing a mask on an Air New Zealand flight from Christchurch to Dunedin on Wednesday was met by police when the plane landed.
Another passenger on the flight, Josiah Tualamali’i, tweeted about the incident, praising the Air New Zealand staff for how they handled the matter.
He said he got on the plane just before noon, and soon after there was an announcement about the requirement to wear a mask.
The man confronted a member of the cabin crew as she walked past, Tualamali’i said.
The man said he didn’t need to wear a mask and wasn’t going to, but the crew member told him that he did need to.
“Then he pointed at a baby in a seat opposite him and said ‘the baby’s not wearing one’.” Tualamali'i said. The flight attendant told him children under 12 did not need to wear a mask, and the passenger said, “well I’m 11”.
He was told he would have to leave the plane if he did not wear mask and replied “it’s all a big hoax, isn’t it”. She replied “is it?” and repeated that he needed to wear a mask.
The man then complied.
”Everyone else was complying and no one else had a problem with it. I think a bit of peer pressure crept in but you could see he was still not happy with it.” Tualamali'i said he could hear the man growling in his seat.
At the end of the flight a pilot escorted the man off the plane and he was met by two police officers on the ground.
Spokespeople for Air New Zealand and the police contacted on Wednesday evening had no details of the incident, but would look into it.