Don't bring any food into NZ, Christchurch

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    Dong bring any food into NZ

    by knerten Updated Jul 22, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I was flying into CHC from SIN, and at the airport in SIN I had to fill in this looong passenger declaration form. Usually it's a breeze, but this one wasn't. It seemed like I could not bring any foodstuff whatsoever to NZ, amongst many other things. Weapons appeared to be ok, though, almost...
    Everything had to be declared and checked. Even to the US, which is so far the strictest country I've been to, I had no problems taking in almost anything. And correctly, in the arrival hall all passengers and their luggage were sniffed at several times by several dogs. Passed that, phew...Should I take my chances and walk on "green" or should I opt for the "red". I opted for "red".

    There all my stuff was scrutinised, open the bags and full search. They do the same when you enter the US, but there it's explosives they're after. This is just food, for Pete's sake!

    Anyway, my delicious dried sausages from Singapore were seized. Sob! My soy milk powder was allowed to pass, so were the dried shiitake, but only because they didn't have any seeds in them. Even my boots were checked for excessive (foreign) dirt. Nonetheless, the MAF people doing the screening were very friendly and helpful and explaining about the procedures. Finally my luggage was given the "all clear" tag and run through the x-ray machine. I suppose that if I had stashed away some food and it would have turned up on the x-ray without any "clear" tag on my bag, I would be writing these lines from jail right now. Since I had been a law-abiding tourist, doing everything correctly, I am not.

    Lesson learned: DO NOT take any food with you to NZ. Well, processed and packed food you buy at any supermarket back home is ok, I think, but I'm not too sure, so not bringing anything saves you the hassle of the full luggage search and the embarrassment of doing your dirty laundry in the public.

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