Biosecurity officials have labelled an attempt by a traveller arriving from Fiji to smuggle in seeds and fresh plant materials a reckless act.
The Fijian passport-holder was refused entry into New Zealand after arriving at Auckland International Airport.
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She admitted planning to plant seeds at her daughter's house after Biosecurity New Zealand officers found material concealed in medicine containers.
Biosecurity NZ spokesperson Steve Gilbert said officers detected four different seed types and fresh chillies in the woman's baggage.
"It was a clear case of smuggling - a reckless act that could have brought dangerous pests or diseases into New Zealand," he said.
"In cases like this, we have the choices of prosecution or referring the offender to Immigration New Zealand," said Gilbert.
He said both agencies agreed the incident was sufficiently serious enough to refuse the passenger entry into New Zealand and for her to be returned to Fiji.
"We hope the word will spread among travellers that this type of risky behaviour is unacceptable to New Zealand."