7 Jul 2015

Travellers still a threat to NZ biosecurity

6:16 pm on 7 July 2015

A horticultural lobby group says the tourism industry needs to better educate people visiting New Zealand about what they can and cannot bring with them.

The group said people still do not know the rules and are unaware of biosecurity risks.

Man pulling suitcase

Photo: 123RF

The Ministry for Primary Industries seized nearly 8000 undeclared items, including fresh produce, whole plants and meat, in the year to May.

Horticulture New Zealand's biosecurity manager, Richard Palmer, said the seizures highlighted the ongoing threat to New Zealand from tourists who do not know, or do not follow, the rules at the border.

"[There is] the language barrier, there's a contextual barrier - an understanding of the importance for New Zealand that people from some other countries simply won't have," he said.

"I think there is a role fo the travel and tourism sector to play in inproving that understanding."