The lead singer of top New Zealand band Sons of Zion has called out the Government's isolation process as being a "s**t show" that made the passengers feel like "criminals" and "animals".
Rotorua-born Rio Panapa posted a video on his Instagram where he criticised the isolation process after landing in Auckland on Tuesday.
He had flown from Brisbane after visiting his 4-year-old daughter in Australia for a week.
Panapa said he and the other passengers weren't told until they landed they would spend their 14 days in isolation in Christchurch and were kept waiting in a room for nearly three hours with no food or water, only a vending machine.
However, a Government spokesperson said although they regretted any inconvenience and acknowledged the process might have been difficult for some families, they were committed to protecting the border to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Panapa said he was personally fine, but he felt bad for the families, some of whom had multiple children, including babies who were crying and screaming.
On the video children and babies can be heard crying, while their parents were trying to console them.
"Many of them were so angry, more so about the lack of information and just the way we were treated," Panapa told the Rotorua Daily Post this week from his isolation hotel in Christchurch.
"It's not like we showed up out of the blue on a surprise plane.
"You are made to feel like a criminal and you are literally just trying to come home."
He said parents weren't told when they would be able to feed their children and the whole process lacked a "Kiwi" feel.
On the video, Panapa said everyone wanted to do the right thing and he didn't blame the staff as they were only following instructions.
"There is a vending a machine but who's to say people have the money. I just feel like they're the basics you should be given for being a bl**dy human.
"We are pretty much sitting here like animals not being told anything."
The video ended on a high note with his friends and fellow musicians - singer Stan Walker, Tawaroa Kawana from Maimoa Music and dancer Tia Maipi - joining the live video and singing a te reo version of Auld Lang Syne to Panapa.
A Covid-19 national response spokesperson said passengers who arrived in Auckland on NZ146 from Brisbane on Tuesday were required to be kept in a separate room from others for two hours while all border processes were completed.
The spokesperson said this included domestic passenger departure and checked baggage security requirements.
They said a drink vending machine was available and refreshments and food weren't able to be served because staff on the ground and on the connecting domestic flight had to follow physical-distancing guidelines to minimise contact with passengers.
"We regret any inconvenience caused by these public safety procedures and acknowledge this process may have been difficult for some families. However, we are committed to protecting our border and stopping the spread of Covid-19 in New Zealand."
Looking ahead, Panapa said he would be leaving Christchurch on Wednesday, July 15 to gear up for the start of the Good Vibes tour, which starts on Friday, July 17 in Gisborne, followed by the Rotorua concert on Saturday, July 18.
Yesterday he was preparing for his day-three Covid-19 test but he was confident he would test negative.