Auckland apartment residents shocked at international flight crew staying in same building

An air hostess from Singapore Airlines checks in to the hotel
An air hostess from Singapore Airlines checks in to the hotel Photo credit: NZME/Screenshot

Shocked apartment-dwelling Aucklanders have learnt they are sharing a building with international flight crews.

One resident of the Ramada Manukau filmed a confrontation with an air host on Monday as Singapore airlines crew checked in to the hotel.

"This is a mixed apartment, it's not just a hotel - you're putting everyone at risk in here," the man filming can be heard saying. 

The first three floors of the seven storey building is a hotel and the upper four are private apartments.

The apartments share common areas with the hotel such as lifts and the lobby.

The video of the confrontation is not the first controversy the Ramada Manukau has undergone this year. In March during New Zealand's level 4 lockdown residents at the apartment were horrified to discover international travellers were being quarantined in the lower floors of the hotel, beneath the private apartments.

After residents complained, the Ministry of Health closed the isolation facility, NZME reports.

Residents spoken to by NZME said they were glad the building was not being used as an isolation facility, but were dumbfounded that foreign flight crew were now being allowed to stay in the building.

The resident who videoed the confrontation said he believed foreign airline crew were even higher risk than returning travellers and he'd now raised his concerns directly with the Government.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins has voiced concern about protocols for airline crews arriving into New Zealand.

He told NZME that he is meeting with Air New Zealand on Wednesday to "make sure that that's as tight as a drum".

"I'm not 100 percent convinced that it is at the moment. I'm going to be absolutely boring into that. There's no time for rest here. I've been doing this job for seven weeks. Every single day I've woken up thinking about COVID-19."

According to the Ministry of Health, "air crew living in New Zealand and returning from high-risk layovers should self-isolate, have a COVID-19 test on day two after their arrival in New Zealand and continue to self-isolate until the results of that test have been returned".

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health told Newshub that there are "strict protocols in place" to protect residents.

"We are aware that Singapore Airlines' aircrew stay at the Ramada and we have worked with the airline to obtain assurances that they are managing their aircrews' stay in accordance with Ministry requirements."

The Ramada manager declined to comment on the video but said the hotel follows all protocols, guidelines and industry requirements to protect its residents.