Fijian 'miracle water' blocked at airport
Hundreds of people are being stopped at New Zealand airports for bringing in "miracle" water from a Fiji village.
Its popularity has the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) warning travellers against bringing it to New Zealand, or they'll face a fine.
The spring in Natadradave became popular a year ago after some villagers who had conjunctivitis are said to have washed their eyes with the water, claiming they were instantly cured. Since then, reports have flooded in of blind people regaining their vision, and stroke victims being able to walk again.
Twenty-seven families live in the village, which is inundated everyday with queues of people who believe the water will heal them.
"I've come to bath to make all sickness go away," one person said.
Its popularity has spilled out of the village and into the airport, with almost 500 people being stopped from bringing the water into New Zealand in the past five months.
"It's more about water that hasn't been processed or clarified and its water from sources where we can't guarantee that there aren't any pests of diseases in it," MPI's Craig Hughes says.
"It's important they declare this when they arrive."
Posters have been put up at Nadi Airport, warning visitors it's a biosecurity risk and failing to declare it will result in a $400 fine.
"It's dangerous not only to agriculture, but also human health as well," Mr Hughes told Newshub.
No one is making any money from the water. The only request from locals is it's never sold as it would lose its mana, but if someone bringing it into New Zealand really wants to keep it, they can pay $60 to have it treated.