An Australian man with gang connections was arrested when he arrived in Northland on a cruise ship and put on a plane back home.

The 56-year-old, who police say is a member of the Outlaws motorcycle gang, entered the Bay of Islands on the Radiance of the Seas on Friday.

Police were alerted by Immigration New Zealand who had refused the man entry to the country last year. Anyone who is denied entry is barred for five years.

The man was arrested, removed from the ship and taken to Auckland, Sergeant Ross Laurie said. He was put on a flight back to Australia on Saturday.

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His wife also decided to leave the ship. It is understood she took the same flight home.

The Radiance of the Seas left Sydney on March 28 with more than 2000 people on board.

The Bay of Islands was the first port of call on the 13-night cruise. The ship is scheduled to call in at Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Akaroa, Dunedin and Fiordland before returning to Sydney on April 10.