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Australian woman is fined $400 after flying to New Zealand with three nectarines in her handbag

Australian tourist, 86, is slapped with an ‘outrageous’ $400 fine after flying to New Zealand with three nectarines in her handbag – but was it justified?

  • An Australian was fined after nectarines were found in her bag at the airport
  • Sally Hill, 86, arrived at Wellington Airport to have a holiday with her grandsons
  • But an airport x-ray showed she had three forgotten nectarines in her handbag
  • She apologised for forgetting to eat them at Sydney Airport for breakfast
  • Ms Hill’s grandson complained and said the $400 fine was ‘outrageous’

An Australian woman has been given a $400 fine after flying to New Zealand with three nectarines in her handbag. 

Sally Hill, 86, arrived at Wellington Airport to enjoy a holiday with her grandsons but was delayed when a biosecurity x-ray showed three forgotten nectarines in her bag. 

‘I admitted I had forgotten the nectarines and I apologised for not eating them at Sydney Airport for breakfast,’ she told NZ Herald. 

‘There was no room for negotiating at all. My bag went through x-ray and I was shocked myself, I just completely forgot’.   

An Australian woman has been given a $400 fine after flying to New Zealand with three nectarines in her handbag (stock image)

Ms Hill said the Ministry for Primary Industries staff were ‘pleasant’ but there was also no ‘room for leniency’. 

She added that the nectarines had also slipped her mind when she was filling out a biosecurity declaration form before arriving in New Zealand. 

Her son, John Hill, who was speaking from Sydney, said the $400 fine was ‘outrageous’ and it was ‘Draconian legislation’ that raised a significant amount of revenue for the Ministry of Primary Industries. 

‘It’s a full week’s pension payment for my mother, cash that she won’t have available to spend in New Zealand to the benefit of the tourist industry or the local economy,’ Mr Hill said. 

However, Biosecurity New Zealand spokesman Steve Gilbert said New Zealand takes on a tough stance on travellers even if their actions were not deliberate. 

Sally Hill, 86, arrived at Wellington Airport (pictured) to enjoy a holiday with her grandsons but was delayed when a biosecurity x-ray showed three forgotten nectarines in her bag 

Sally Hill, 86, arrived at Wellington Airport (pictured) to enjoy a holiday with her grandsons but was delayed when a biosecurity x-ray showed three forgotten nectarines in her bag 

Unwanted pests and diseases could easily enter into the country if not for the country’s strict biosecurity rules, Mr Gilbert said, adding that nectarines could be carrying fruit flies. 

‘We issue infringement notices when we believe a passenger has unintentionally failed to declare a risk item,’ he said. 

‘If we believed the passenger had intentionally tried to smuggle the fruit into New Zealand, she could have faced prosecution’. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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