All flights in and out of Palmerston North have been cancelled after an Air New Zealand flight made an emergency landing there at about 5pm.
Flight NZ5075 from Auckland to Nelson diverted to Palmerston North with suspected problems with its landing gear this afternoon.
The aircraft was been diverted to a holding pattern to burn fuel. Air New Zealand said the flight landed safely, and all 64 passengers and the five crew evacuated the ATR72 aircraft on the runway.
The aircraft was to remain on the runway until it had been inspected by engineers.
It said the nine remaining Air New Zealand services in and out of Palmerston North had been cancelled as a result.
Air New Zealand said the captain met and debriefed the passengers, who would now be transported by road to Wellington to continue their journeys.
Passengers who were booked on flights into or out of Palmerston North flights tonight could rebook or receive a full refund of their ticket.
The Fire Service said the mayday was declared by Palmerston North airport just before 3.30pm. It put five crews on standby, along with the airport's own crash fire units, and had several other support units in the vicinity just in case they were needed.