The tourism industry is facing backlash amid a purported break down in New Zealand's relationship with China, with a Chinese publication claiming some travellers are dumping plans to come here.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said the relationship between New Zealand and China is a complex one and has its challenges after it was questioned this month.
The National Party questioned the relationship after an Air New Zealand flight was turned back from Shanghai on Sunday, and a Chinese tourism event scheduled for next Wednesday at Te Papa was postponed. They also questioned why Ms Ardern hasn't visited China as Prime Minister.
An article published in the English version of China's People's Daily Newspaper suggests New Zealand has fallen out of favour with Chinese travellers.
"Some Chinese tourists are considering dumping their plans to travel to New Zealand this year as a way to punish the country," the report says.
The article quoted one would-be traveller who said New Zealand was stabbing his country in the back.
"Is it a kind of robbery? New Zealand stabbed us in the back but asks for our money? This is double-faced," the 30-something Beijing-based worker surnamed Li, who was described as identifying himself "as a patriot", told the publication.
The paper aligns with China's communist party and is considered a mouth piece of its government.