Ron Bax reckons he could write an entire book about his flying adventures.

Standing at 2.25m tall, Mr Bax is slightly shorter than the 2.34m Fijian Kali Selei, who visited New Zealand two years ago on a Christian mission.

He would look up to Sultan Kosen, who at 2.47m is the world's tallest man.

But as far as he knows, Mr Bax is New Zealand's tallest man.

And this can often cause him problems.

"On average I whack my head about three or four times a week into awnings or at malls where signs hang from doors," said Mr Bax.

"Society here is built for a certain size."

On a trip to Europe several years ago, Mr Bax found he had been given a seat which could not accommodate him. "So I put my bag down and sat in the middle of the aisle ... a person came running out and said 'you can't sit here there's your seat'."

"They ended up putting me into business class. They let me off the plane first and tried to get $5,000 out of me because I enjoyed their business class service. Luckily some reporter was sitting next to me ... I said 'this is a reporter and your name is mud back in New Zealand' and suddenly everything was all right."

On another occasion he was flying back to his home in Christchurch via Hong Kong when he was refused a business class upgrade.

"They squeezed me into this tiny seat and I ended up ripping my pants and shirt."

"You have to stand up to eat and they tell you to sit down, it's just crazy."

It is also a costly business when you are well over seven foot tall and have one leg that is bigger than the other. He tried to modify a Toyota Corolla to suit his height but has now settled for a Camry which gets him around comfortably.

Mr Bax gets one pair of shoes each year, provided for him by orthotic specialists at Christchurch Hospital. A second pair "costs hundreds".

The 49-year-old, a qualified chef, now working in the advertising industry, comes from a line of tall timber. His father stood over at 2.13m and his mother 1.82m.

Born in The Netherlands, Mr Bax at 16 was 1.96m tall and still growing.

He immigrated to New Zealand in 1987 after visiting the country a few years earlier on a working holiday.

Mr Bax said he liked living here because people largely left him alone, although he receives the occasional approach to promote things. "I don't want to do that but just want to live my life like everyone else."