Weighty issues led to reshuffle

The Moana Pasifika Super Rugby team during their Saturday night match against the Highlanders at...
The Moana Pasifika Super Rugby team during their Saturday night match against the Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Crouch, touch, pause and switch sides. Super Rugby team Moana Pasifika helped cause an Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to Dunedin to be delayed on Friday, after their pack weight rendered an Airbus A320 unbalanced.

Dunedin resident Ben Ryder was at Auckland Airport on the 12.30pm flight to Dunedin with his family when the announcement came that the flight was delayed.

"We got told that the flight was being delayed because there was balance issues with the luggage and where people were sitting on the flight."

Joining him on his flight was the Moana Pasifika Super Rugby team, who were on their way to Dunedin to play the Highlanders on Saturday night at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

"The entire team were all sitting together on one side of the plane and a few of them did get moved around to sort out what was going on. They had to rebalance everything, but those guys definitely got moved around quite a wee bit.

"I can only guess whoever booked those tickets for them booked them all together and on one side as a big group, and that was probably half the problem.

"They are some pretty massive dudes."

Mr Ryder also theorised their luggage might have caused some problems, as the team all arrived together, and he assumed their luggage also all got loaded together.

"I have a suspicion all their stuff got loaded to one side of the plane. When coming off the plane in Dunedin, a very good half of the luggage was theirs."

Air New Zealand general manager of flight operations Hugh Pearce said flight NZ675 was delayed while departing Auckland as the team managed the payload of the aircraft.

"For safe and efficient operation of the aircraft we need to ensure correct weight distribution on board, everything from cargo and luggage in the hold, to where passengers are seated, to remain within certified aircraft limits.

"We apologise to customers for the delay to this flight and thank them for their patience."