Police Minister blasts airport staff after plane delayed

Police Minister Stuart Nash has lashed out at an air traffic control officer, claiming his plane was late two weeks in a row because staff slept in.

"@FlyAirNZ plane late leaving Napier by 20 minutes yet again; but for the 2nd Monday in a row it's because air traffic controller turned up late for work.

"Yet again a plane full of punters delayed because some clown slept in! Unbelievable & unacceptable," Mr Nash tweeted.

Airways NZ, which operates the control tower, says the plane was delayed last week because a staff member's car broke down on the way to work.

"We apologise to customers who were delayed this morning at Napier due to an unexpected staff shortage.

"Unfortunately this came after a staff member experienced a car break down on their way to work last week," a spokesperson told Newshub.