This is now classed as much ado about nothing:
Passengers travelling in the student group, or in seats close to this group, were separately assessed and approximately 40 students were found to have a mild respiratory illness with symptoms of coughs or runny noses, it said.
None of the unwell passengers showed signs of influenza or had a feverish illness, and none required hospital assessment. These passengers were cleared to leave the airport at 12.38pm today, were provided with health advice and able to complete their journeys in New Zealand, the health service said.
The man running the homestay trip, Stuart Cundy of Let's Homestay, told ONE News he understands only a few of the students showed visible flu like symptoms, and from that another passenger raised the alarm.
"The whole group was actually vaccined back in November, leading into the Japanese winter. There's no influenza, there's no flu, and that's the official word from the authorities," Cundy said.
The diagnosis was that a few boys in the group had mild viral illnesses - little more than the common cold.
"In hindsight we overreacted to this. But that's much better than underreacting," said Dr Richard Hoskins of the Auckland Regional Public Health Service.