We arrived in Opua, New Zealand yesterday (November 22, 2010).
Upon arrival we tied to the customs dock, which fits about 15 boats in style. At eight am four customs officers arrived on the docks and started to clear the boats.
New Zealand reserves the right to force arriving boats to haul to have their bottoms cleaned if the bottom has too much growth. We cleaned Scream before departing Tonga. The officer complemented us on the cleanliness of our bottom. We haven't painted the bottom in 15 months and are only moderately impressed with its cleanliness.
There are tons of stories circulating about what food can and can not be brought into New Zealand. The rules are long, and say that many items are at the discretion of the individual customs officer. The following items were seized from us:
- Dry beans, except lentils
- Eggs, including hard boiled
- All fresh fruit and vegetables
- All garbage and recyclables
We did not have any meat or honey aboard, as we had been correctly informed that they would be seized.
Despite the rumours, the following items were not seized from us:
- UHT, canned, and powdered milk
- Anything canned (except meat)
- Butter (NZ and foreign, frozen and not)
- Peanut butter
- Straw fans, hats, etc.
- Frozen vegetables in commercial packages
I hope that this helps to clear the confusion.