PM stuck in Melbourne after plane breaks down again

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is stuck in Melbourne after the Defence Force plane carrying her broke down for the second time this week. 

Ardern was due to return to New Zealand on Friday afternoon but technical issues have left the Boeing 757 plane grounded and not going anywhere, anytime soon.

The unexpected incident means Ardern and fiance Clarke Gayford will take a commercial flight back to Auckland on Friday evening. 

The same plane broke down in Australia earlier this week and, at the time, it was unclear whether the Prime Minister was even going to make the trip on that plane. 

However, the Defence Force finally got it fixed, flew it back to New Zealand in time for the first leg of this trip and now it has broken down again.

Last month, a second plane had to be sent to pick up Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters when one of the 757s broke down in Vanuatu.

In 2016, former Prime Minister John Key had to be rescued when a 757 broke down twice, stranding him and a delegation of nearly 100 in Townsville, Australia en route to India.