An Argentinian traveller has been stopped at the border after Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) found a set of juggling balls she had packed was infested with weevils.
The woman arrived from Buenos Aires last week, after flying into Auckland International Airport. According to MPI team manager at Auckland Airport, Dave Sims, a quarantine officer noticed the weevils on the balls, and on further inspection discovered they were full of dried corn and more insects.
Mr Sims says the officers always inspect juggling balls as they are usually filled with seeds, unbeknownst to their owners.
"We often pick up the seeds and other organic material when the balls pass through border X-ray screening. Our biosecurity detector dogs are also good at finding seeds."
In most cases, the travellers are issued a warning as opposed to a fine, Mr Sims says, as it is not something people would think they need to declare.
The passenger is planning to stay in New Zealand a year, and much to her delight, all her other juggling equipment was no threat to the New Zealand environment.