Air NZ's Ostapchuk joke 'unbelievably offensive'

AN online Christmas Cracker promotion has landed Air New Zealand in trouble, with some accusing the company of transphobia.

The controversial campaign, run through the airline's Grabaseat website, gave people the chance to win prizes and those who failed received a consolation joke instead.

One of these jokes read: "What large heavy ball was responsible for Valerie Adams' gold medal? The Belarusian's left testicle."

The joke is a reference to Nadzeya Ostapchuk being stripped of her Olympic gold medal earlier this year after testing positive for drugs.

Valerie Adams was then awarded the gold.

"This joke is unbelievably offensive, transphobic and just plain unnecessary. Really poor form," wrote one Twitter user.

Another said she would like to see an "immediate apology" and a donation to a Lesbian Bisexual Gay Transgender programme.

Instead of issuing an apology, Air New Zealand used its Grabaseat Twitter account to respond.

"Not everyone likes our xmas cracker jokes so tell us your tacky kiwi jokes & we'll add our favourites into the cracker."


Philip’s unconventional royal romance

Premium Content Philip’s unconventional royal romance

Prince Philip’s rather unconventional romance blossomed into love

Philip’s deep bond with Australia

Premium Content Philip’s deep bond with Australia

Prince Philip visited Australia an astonishing 35 times.

Traffic diverted after girl trapped in highway crash

Premium Content Traffic diverted after girl trapped in highway crash

A teenage girl was trapped in wreckage following a Warrego Hwy crash