A Fijian woman has warned others to be more aware of the export permits needed to bring cultural items from the Pacific into New Zealand.
Dali Jobson was forced to surrender a family heirloom called a tabua to the Crown after she declared it at Auckland Airport last month.
The polished whale tooth is around 13 cm long and is a highly regarded cultural gift in Fiji often passed down through generations.
It was formerly gifted to her daughter by the family's village and was confiscated under New Zealand's Trade in Endangered Species Act.
She spoke to Indira Stewart.