Police Minister Stuart Nash apologises after airport outburst

The Police Minister has apologised for losing it at Air New Zealand staff when he failed to check in on time and wasn't allowed to board his flight.

Stuart Nash has admitted he was frustrated, upset and that his outburst included swearing.  

"I said words to the tune of 'for beep's sake'," says Nash.

The Police Minister was booked on an early morning flight from Napier to Wellington on July 3.

Two days earlier, Air New Zealand had changed their check-in rules - with passengers without luggage no longer allowed to show up and board the plane without checking in first. 

"I got down there 25 minutes before the flight and I wasn't allowed on the flight and I was a little bit grumpy," says Nash.

He was grumpy enough to start swearing. 

"No doubt about it I was frustrated with the situation," he says.

"You should never shoot the messenger,  and I'm the first to admit I perhaps acted in a way that I shouldn't have."

Nash said he apologised for his outburst.

"I'm very sorry. Like I said, I phoned up and apologised and I thought my apology had been accepted and I hope I didn't cause anyone distress."

It's not the first outburst from Nash - at the end of last year he tweeted, furious that his plane was late by 20 minutes because "some clown slept in".

Earlier this year his temper got him in trouble again - security was called to the Parliamentary gym after a "loud and uncouth" stoush over equipment. 

But he says he can control his temper.

"I don't think I have an anger problem at all."

Nash is also not the first minister to cause a scene at an airport - former Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee famously barged through security, and current Transport Minister Phil Twyford was forced to temporarily resign his aviation portfolio after being snapped talking on his phone on a plane when it was supposed to be off.

Nash denies he was seeking special treatment.

"I have never sought any privileges for me being an MP or a minister," he says.