A judge on The Block has been caught up in the fracas at Hong Kong airport which has seen the flights of tens of thousands of travellers cancelled.

Jason Bonham and his team have had their flights changed four times but he's since managed to fly to Shanghai where he is due to fly from tonight, and back to Auckland.

The airport is currently in its second day of major disruptions, but has been the site of protesters since Friday.

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled after anti-government protesters gathered in the terminal, sparking the government to retaliate by sending armed police and even tanks.


Bonham, who is travelling with three of his team from Bonham Architecture and Interiors, told the Herald they were due to fly out on Tuesday night but their flight was cancelled.

The crew, who have been in China since last Tuesday, have been flying in and out of Hong Kong to nearby Shenzhen for various projects.

They landed back in Hong Kong airport on Monday and didn't notice anything too untoward.

However, while travelling around the city on Monday they did notice an increasing amount of armed police pop up, including inside large shopping malls.

"What was interesting, was all the armoured trucks and armed police started getting more and more present.

"We've noticed that lots of the police now have got all these big riot shields and tasers in the streets and in some of the bigger public places, down by the waterfront, for example.

"And even in the shopping malls there was a group of 12 military guys walking through the shopping malls with riot sheilds and long silver poles."

As well as increased police, there is an increasing amount of disruption to traffic which is causing gridlock around the city.


"There's a lot of disrption to traffic, it's just gridlock everywhere."

He said they did feel relatively safe but were just more aware of the increasing number of armed officers.

"We felt like we were fine but we were just aware of more police, more army, it became a lot more obvious. You'll look around and see a lot more police in the street, a lot more in the mall, and more police cars and more motorcycles."

Trying to change their flights proved difficult, Bonham said, as they couldn't get any help from Air NZ so instead went through their travel agent who got them flights from Shenzhen to Shanghai, from where they will fly back to Auckland tonight.

"Air NZ weren't very good. We're elite travellers, so we do so many miles every year ... we've heard nothing from Air NZ. There's been no attempt to help reschedule our travel, nothing. They've been absolutely useless.

"And that's business class and we've had to reschedule our business class fares three or four times ourselves because Air NZ weren't able to do anything."

Bonham, who with his team visited the country about once a month, said he noticed something brewing when he was there last about four or five weeks ago.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is advising people travelling to Hong Kong to exercise increased caution as a result of the protests.

The Safe Travel website advises New Zealanders to avoid all protests and demonstrations, as even those intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn violent with little or no warning.

Travellers are also advised to monitor local media for developments and comply with any instructions and restrictions issued by the local authorities. Road closures and disruptions to public transport as a result of demonstrations should also be expected