MAF Regulations

What you can't bring

MAF Regulations

As New Zealand is an island nation with a unique ecosystem and a significant economic reliance on agriculture, there are rigorously maintained agriculture regulations to consider when shipping household items.

All containers landed in New Zealand are checked by MAF (the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries), and the following items will usually be inspected:

  • Wooden items
  • Gardening Equipment
  • Lawn Mowers and Catchers
  • Foodstuffs
  • Medicines
  • Cane furniture
  • Bicycles
  • Golf clubs and buggies
  • Sporting shoes and equipment (there are special guidelines for camping equipment and fishing gear, read them here  - also see section 7.4 of the biosecurity guidelines here  on how to clean fishing tackle and other aquatic equipment.)

  • Vacuum cleaners with un-emptied dust bags
  • Ornaments and curios containing skin or feathers
  • Christmas decorations (no pinecones!)

  • Dried flowers and seeds
  • Equipment/medicines used with horses or other animals
  • Used Vehicles

In the majority of cases, MAF just requires that the items are clean - in particular, that they are not contaminated by soil, seeds or insect infestations. Inspections typically cost $150 - $300, depending on what is examined - cleaning and fumigation costs are extra.

To save on inspection charges, try to ensure that your boxes are labelled correctly (not for example as "misc"), and be specific - e.g. separate "garden tools" and "DIY tools". Items of possible interest should be packed together where possible. Anything likely to have been outside will also be inspected, such as garden furniture and outdoor toys - make sure they are clean.

You can always get in touch directly with MAF, here , about any items you are not sure about; honesty is absolutely the best policy. This article was contributed by Jeremy Henderson from Broadbase International. Their UK website,, has a great range of up-to-date articles on life in New Zealand written especially for prospective migrants.

Further reading

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