Police Minister Stuart Nash has apologised for swearing at an Air New Zealand staff member after he was denied access to a flight last month.

Nash told Newshub he had said "words to the tune of 'for bleep sake'," with bleep in this case indicating a four-letter swear word.

He was attempting to take a flight from Napier to Wellington on July 3.

Nash said he arrived at the gate 25 minutes before the flight.

Advertisement

But two days prior, Air NZ had changed its check-in rules meaning that passengers without luggage were no longer allowed to board a plane without checking in first.

"I was a little bit grumpy," he said.

But he said, "you should never shoot the messenger".

"I'm the first to admit I, perhaps, acted in a way which I shouldn't have."

He said he was "very sorry" for swearing at Air NZ staff and he later apologised.

National Leader Simon Bridges told Newshub more is expected of MPs – "let alone in this case, the Minister of Police".

This is not the first time Nash has apologised for losing his temper.

Earlier this year security was called to quell the confrontation between Nash and another gym goer at the parliamentary gym.

Advertisement

Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard told The Herald the dispute was over gym etiquette on machine use.

"It's not serious enough for security to report up to me. I only know about it because Nash told me earlier this week."

Mallard said he was told that both men were being "loud and uncouth", and that Nash had apologised to the man the following day for his "bad language".