An Air New Zealand flight to Nadi, Fiji has had to return to Auckland because of engineering issues, Fairfax reports.

Flight NZ52 left Auckland at 9.35am.

An hour-and-a-half into the flight, staff announced the plane would be returning to Auckland because it had encountered an issue that could not be fixed in Fiji, a passenger's partner told Fairfax.

"Those on board [were] given a cracker biscuit and a drink for the delay of 5 hours."

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Air New Zealand spokeswoman Hannah Searle told Fairfax the flight turned around at 11.20am because of an engineering fault.

"After landing at Auckland Airport the fault was rectified and the aircraft departed Auckland at 2.09pm, landing in Nadi at 5.08pm [local time]."

Reports an item fell from the plane were incorrect, Searle said.