An Air New Zealand international flight was locked down for 90 minutes after arriving at Auckland Airport last night when passengers and crew fell ill.

Flight NZ281 from Singapore landed at Auckland Airport at 10.25pm, but remained on the tarmac for an hour and half as five sick passengers and one crew member were assessed by St John ambulance.

An Airport spokesman said it was believed to be food poisoning but an Air NZ spokeswoman said it was too early to confirm whether food poisoning was responsible for the illness.

Two people were taken to Middlemore Hospital.

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An Auckland Airport spokesman said the passengers were ill before they boarded the plane in Singapore.

Pratheesh Kurian's wife and two children, aged 4 and 1, were on the plane.

He said the lack of information available while he waited for his family was worrying.

"We didn't know what was going on. I was really scared, it could've been anything.

"Everyone waiting for the passengers was panicking."