New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.

Wellington -

New Zealand's transport minister on Thursday offered to resign from his post after bypassing domestic airport security checks while rushing to catch a plane back to the capital.

Gerry Brownlee said he and two members of his staff had entered the departure gate lounge at Christchurch Airport through a door normally used as an exit, avoiding mandatory x-ray and security checks, according to a statement.

Prime Minister John Key told Television New Zealand (TVNZ) he was disappointed by Brownlee's actions, but would not accept his offer to resign.

“While he was obviously in a hurry, lots of people are in a hurry and that is not an excuse. He has made a stupid mistake,” Key said. “He has apologised and taken full responsibility, as he should.”

Brownlee asked an airport staff member: “Look, we're in a hurry to get on the plane, can we shoot through here?” the TVNZ report said. In his apology, Brownlee called his actions “thoughtless”.

Brownlee, in his role as Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister, flies frequently between the South Island city of Christchurch, which remains badly damaged after the 2011 earthquakes, and the capital city Wellington in the North Island. - Sapa-dpa