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MAF advised of Hilary Swank sentencing decision

MAF advised of Hilary Swank sentencing decision

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) today received advice from the Manukau District Court that American actor Hilary Swank had been fined $200 plus $30 costs for an offence committed under the provisions of the Biosecurity Act 1993.

MAF Quarantine Service officials at Auckland International Airport issued Miss Swank with an infringement notice for $200 on 15 January 2005 for failing to declare an apple and an orange. She had just arrived on flight NZ5 from Los Angeles.

Miss Swank wrote a letter to MAF admitting liability and explaining the circumstances. MAF filed the letter with the Manukau District Court. The Court considered this matter on 18 March 2005.

New Zealand’s strict biosecurity regulations are intended to ensure the country remains free from pests and diseases that have the potential to seriously damage our environment, natural resources, threaten our economy and undermine our way of life.

International passengers are obliged to declare all foodstuffs they may be carrying when entering New Zealand.

8,759 airport infringement notices ($200.00) were issued from 1 January – 31 December 2004 (from all NZ airports that have international flights). Auckland airport alone issued 6,807.

1,693 notices were issued in Auckland from 1 January to 13 March 2005.

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