Yachtie's fine not enough
A $3000 fine imposed on an Australian yachtie who intentionally brought fruit, vegetables and meat into New Zealand is not enough to act as a deterrent: this is the opinion of Horticulture NZ and one KVH supports.
Australian woman, Dianne Young, hid the food in her vessel instead of declaring it to a quarantine officer at Opua in the Bay of Islands in 2014.
An MPI quarantine officer searching the vessel after its arrival from Fiji found eggs, oranges, apples, tomatoes, pumpkin, pineapple, onions, kumara, ginger, garlic, spring onions, meat patties, ham, eggplant, bok choy, cabbage, cucumber, capsicum and lettuce.
All these items are considered ‘risk goods’ and could harbour pests such as fruit flies – putting New Zealand’s primary industries at enormous risk.
While this discovery and seizure of fruit demonstrates MPI’s biosecurity system is robust and working well, KVH agrees the subsequent punishment by the courts should be more severe to send a much stronger message to those who intentionally break the rules.