30 Nov 2015

MPI gives green light to lamp

6:53 pm on 30 November 2015

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has given the all-clear to a dirt-like substance found in an imported lamp base by a Kerikeri man.

The dirt Don Cottle found in the base of his standard lamp, and part of the plastic bag that failed to contain it.

The substance - which Mr Cottle thought was dirt - in the base of his lamp. Photo: Supplied

Retired farmer and earth-moving contractor Don Cottle called MPI on Friday when he discovered what appeared to be dirt, pouring from the cracked base of a standard lamp he believed was made in China.

He said the staff member who took the call was not interested, leaving him fuming.

Mr Cottle said the machines he sent overseas needed to be meticulously steam-cleaned before Customs would let them back into the country, and it was not good enough to let foreign soil slip into the country in lamps.

An MPI spokesperson said today the substance was a type of disintegrated concrete and, because it was not organic, it did not pose a biosecurity risk.