NZ: Seed smugglers turned away at border

Fruit and vegetable growers in New Zealand will be delighted to hear of the Ministry for Primary Industries’ dealings with two illegal seed importers last week.

MPI picked up two Chinese passport holders at Auckland Airport who were on their way to a wedding complete with 14 foil-wrapped packages of seeds hidden in their luggage.

They were put on a return flight back to Shanghai.

“MPI’s decision to just send them back to where they came from suits growers just fine”, says Horticulture New Zealand president Andrew Fenton.

“People who deliberately try to smuggle seeds into this country need to be sent packing.

“It would be nice if we could fine them heaps as well, but this sends a much stronger message to their friends, families and their own wallets.”

Strong biosecurity protection is a major key to the continued growth of New Zealand’s horticulture industry.

“Vigilance at our border will always be the backbone for growth of all our primary sector industries. We can’t grow without that protection.

“Anyone who threatens our border should get a quick look at the Arrivals Hall and then be turned around fast back to where they came from,” Andrew says.

For more information:
Andrew Fenton
Horticulture New Zealand
Tel: +64 (0)27 493 0123

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