Rapist allowed on flight at Wellington Airport despite refusing to walk through scanning machine

Newshub can reveal a high-profile convicted rapist created a security incident at Wellington Airport but was allowed to board his flight without intervention from officials.

The man refused to walk through a body scanning machine at Wellington Airport on December 29. He then boarded his flight to Auckland, without the pilot being immediately informed of the incident. 

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) confirmed the incident, telling Newshub the man "deliberately evaded screening, exited the screening point and boarded his flight." 

More details on Newshub Live at 6pm.

It was only when the flight arrived in Auckland that police and the aviation security officials took action. 

"Airport police met the passenger as the aircraft landed (in Auckland) and assessed the threat he posed. Avsec conducted a full search of the aircraft," a CAA spokesperson said.  

Cath O'Brien, the Executive Director of the Board of Airline Representatives of New Zealand, which advocates on behalf of airlines, called the situation "unacceptable." 

She says as soon as the passenger evaded screening, the departure lounge should have been "tipped" due to the risk the individual was carrying a prohibited item. 

"There is no room for allowing people to avoid screening," she told Newshub. O'Brien says it would have been easy to "hold" the plane and prevent its departure had the pilot been informed. 

The CAA says it did advise the airline company (Air New Zealand) of the incident but did not tell the pilot "as the pilot is an employee of the airline." 

Newshub has sought comment from Air New Zealand. 

The CAA says the incident is being investigated. 

"Changes may be made due to this incident on 29 December, 2022," a spokesperson said.