taking dehydrated meals into NZ

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taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby srforum112 » Tue 20 Nov, 2012 6:56 am

Has anyone taken home dehydrated meals into NZ for their walking trips?
I'm walking in NZ next year and plan to dehydrate all the evening meals for the trip. Planning to take vegetarian meals including chilli con carne (no meat), red curry, mushroom risotto etc.

I've been discussing the importing of meals with NZ quarantine and have a reasonable idea on the resrtrictions. Though you just never know until you get to the inspection point...

I really like to hear from others who have taken food into NZ, what you could take in and what you couldn't and your experience with Quarantine.

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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby forest » Tue 20 Nov, 2012 7:43 am

No sure if it's any help but I took Backcountry meals over there from Australia in April. No issues at all. But they are a purchased, sealed NZ made product anyway.

If you made your own you will need to probably prove they have no meat somehow.
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby andrewp » Tue 20 Nov, 2012 10:22 am

I took all my own food into NZ a few years ago and plan to do so again next year.

I confirmed with NZ Biosecurity before I went that everything I was taking was OK and took the email with me just in case. All went though without a problem.

I took home dehydrated vegetarian meals. Definitely no meat. Also took home made muesli, home dried fruit, nuts, etc. I left the milk powder out of the muesli. I thought it might be problem, and it was easy to buy in NZ.

I would definitely advise taking documentation about what is in your food and also any discussion you have had with NZ Biosecurity.
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby Rob A » Tue 20 Nov, 2012 10:45 am

Theyve always been very reasonable. Declare what you have. They are a bit funny about apples, and stuff like cinamon sticks will have them looking for weavles or other parasites. Check em out on line. As long as you are sensible with what you take it wont be a drama. Chat the customs officers so you know whats what next time. I was surprised at what they would let go.

Small bottle of dettol is a good trick too. When they go to inspect your gear make sure its cleaned, wiped down and everything seam picked for seeds and stalks and show them youve dettol'd pegs, pole ends, floor tubs, boots. Pack in a manner that eveything they will want to see is easy access. Just make it easy for eveyone, and it will be.

The officers arent stupid and theyve seen it all before. They will peg you as organised and reasonable or a complete effin idiot pretty quickly.
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby wayno » Tue 20 Nov, 2012 10:49 am

saw a tv programme about the maf inspections, they stopped someone and confiscated home made fruit puree, so not sure where teh line is drawn on food.
maybe dried is ok and not ried isnt? stock standard fruit that you can get here may be considered ok, they go over people like asians bringing in exotic food witha fine tooth comb.
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby wayno » Tue 20 Nov, 2012 10:53 am

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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby wayno » Tue 20 Nov, 2012 11:02 am

http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/enter/declare

Food
All food items brought into New Zealand, even the smallest amounts, need to be declared. These items include:

■Meat
■Eggs
■Dairy products
■Dried mushrooms & fungi
■Honey and honey products
■Seeds for human consumption and processing into food
■Nuts, spices, herbs and un-popped popcorn
■Dried, cooked or preserved fruit and vegetables
■Fresh fruit or vegetables
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby ninjapuppet » Tue 20 Nov, 2012 12:08 pm

Had a couple of cheese burgers stashed in my pack from Sydney airport. Was going to have them in the plane but completely forgot about them. Ticked the "nothing to declare" box at Christchurch, and they found out pretty quick thru the X-ray.

Confiscated of course.
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby whynotwalk » Tue 20 Nov, 2012 4:14 pm

I've always found them pretty fastidious in Christchurch airport. We decided it wasn't worth trying, so ended up buying de-hyd in NZ. It's half decent, really (and I'm fussy!)

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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby wonderingspirit » Tue 11 Dec, 2012 4:18 pm

hi srforum112..i live in new zealand and we have many tramping shops that supply good dehy meals..from curries to vegetarian and many more.dont try the dehy egg.its the worst ive tried..you can even buy some dehy meals from new world super market..depending on what town youre going too..happy holiday tramping.
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby wayno » Tue 11 Dec, 2012 4:44 pm

buy it in the bigger cities , its more expensive if you're in a place like queenstown or te anau. queenstown is expensive full stop...
doc offices are also expensive places to buy it
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby Wolfix » Wed 12 Dec, 2012 7:10 am

I'd be interested to know if anyone's done it with meat meals as I want to do some multi-day hikes in NZ eventually but have multiple food intolerances so have to dehy my own food. Don't really want to have to extend my trip by a week and buy a dehydrator over there to make my food in the country. That would be ridiculous :(
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby wayno » Wed 12 Dec, 2012 7:17 am

you wont be allowed to bring your own dehy meat into nz... i wouldnt bet on being able to bring any prepared meat in.. they are fastidious about the food they will let in...
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby Wolfix » Wed 12 Dec, 2012 11:05 am

There goes all my NZ hiking plans :,(
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby wayno » Wed 12 Dec, 2012 11:11 am

if you have time at some accomodation you could dehy locally bought meat. its possible using low heat in fan ovens and microwaves. .
but i'd experiment at home first to work it out... or look up some organic butchers and see if they do jerky without the items that make you allergic, keep researching. it aint over yet...
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby wayno » Wed 12 Dec, 2012 11:12 am

i rely on lentils for protein in the bush...
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby Robert H » Wed 12 Dec, 2012 12:09 pm

Wolfix wrote:There goes all my NZ hiking plans :,(

Vegetarianism. :wink:
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby Rob A » Wed 12 Dec, 2012 8:28 pm

Wolfix wrote:There goes all my NZ hiking plans :,(


Then make enquiries directly with NZ Customs.

People have taken their own dehaydrated and (psuedo) vac heat sealed, including meat products, and declared them, and been passed through customs. About twelve days worth. Maybe they they appeared professional in the way they did it and didnt behave like lobotomised gibbons.
Ive declared powdered milk decanted into smaller plastic containers (ie no longer in mnfrs packaging) and not been refused that either, rather than buying the bulk packs in Kiwi.

When I spoke to customs, as in conversation with officers, actually there, face to face, I was surprised at their tolerance levels, and they were more concerned about raw unprocessed foods (fruits, meat, whatever) and untreated bark (cinamon sticks etc.) and seed products. They seemed more than happy to provide expanations to genuine enquiries.

The Biosecurity NZ site is about what you have to declare, not what you will be allowed to bring in and what will be confiscated. I have previously read the basis they use for approvals for personal use, much of it is about product stability and shelf life in its packaging, and you might be able to work out something satisfactory.

Im not saying the way you package your dried slops will meet with customs approval but it would be worth putting your case and finding out. Wont cost you anything.

Often take the entire first walks food short of fresh meat, fruit and bread, and Ive never had anything confiscated in two or three passports.
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby wayno » Thu 13 Dec, 2012 6:22 am

it can also come down to who you have to deal with at the airport. they dont have to let any meat products in that arent commercially prepared to the standard they require. if they arent happy with teh way its been processsed and packaged they can still reject it. theres a programme over here that shows the border security doing their job and they are constantly rejecting home prepared foods. cooked food etc.
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby blacksheep » Thu 13 Dec, 2012 8:39 am

I just came back from the Philippines this week with a quantity of dehydrated mango (commercially sealed stuff- delicious though!) Declared it, no drama at chcvh airport. (Wish I bought more now).
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby Wolfix » Thu 13 Dec, 2012 10:25 am

I wonder if it would be easier for me to post ahead. Obviously it would go through the same scrutiny but at least I'd not be wasting a plane ticket!
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby wayno » Thu 13 Dec, 2012 10:36 am

you could post a small amount as a test to see if it gets through, if it doesnt try and find out why if you can correct any deficiency.... before sending the main lot
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby Wolfix » Thu 13 Dec, 2012 1:17 pm

Yeah, unless there is subjective discretion at play. But yes, I have an address I can send things to for a test run at least. I they're fully cooked, vacuum sealed and labelled with all ingredients then I hope that will suffice.
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby WarrenH » Wed 19 Dec, 2012 6:48 am

Wolfix wrote:I they're fully cooked, vacuum sealed and labelled with all ingredients then I hope that will suffice.


My kids had their dehydrated food confiscated earlier this year at Christchurch airport, because, as it was said to them, "It was not a commercial product, home prepared products are not allowed." Their food was vacuum sealed, but it didn't pass because it was home made.

They only lost snacks and a couple of top up meals, that I prepared for emergencies for them. Even when they left for Nu Zild, we weren't sure that they would get the food through customs. They were half expecting to loose it but it would have been terrible if they had have lost a month's camping supplies.

If they'd been taking a large quantity of food with them, they would have researched the customs requirements thoroughly.

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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby wayno » Wed 19 Dec, 2012 6:55 am

one issue is if they arent 100% convinced its 100% cooked properly they won't let it in, they can't guarantee that for personally prepared goods. its safer to reject it by default than use discretion....

they have to give the benefit of the doubt to commercially prepared food, since so much is brought into the country, and its prepared by companies that by and large are professional about its correct preparation, but theres more variables in home prepared food, the conditions its prepared under, the process its put through and the people preparing it.
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby tom_brennan » Mon 07 Jan, 2013 12:38 pm

We took plenty of dried fruit, veges and meals into NZ (Christchurch) back in 2007. Don't know whether much has changed since then. Some papaya that was insufficiently dried was confiscated but the rest was waved through.

I think we took some more dried veges into Wellington in 2009. I wouldn't bother with meat.

I'd probably suggest you don't vaccuum seal it, because they wanted to be able to check to make sure it was dried enough. Ours was all in zip lock bags.
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby matagi » Mon 07 Jan, 2013 1:15 pm

Wolfix wrote:There goes all my NZ hiking plans :,(

Only if your food intolerances are so restrictive they preclude the use of non-animal protein sources.

There may be some organisations in NZ that will do custom dehydrated meals - might be worth looking into.
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby RonK » Mon 07 Jan, 2013 2:35 pm

Wolfix wrote:I'd be interested to know if anyone's done it with meat meals as I want to do some multi-day hikes in NZ eventually but have multiple food intolerances so have to dehy my own food. Don't really want to have to extend my trip by a week and buy a dehydrator over there to make my food in the country. That would be ridiculous :(

So supplement your vegetarian meals with local dried meat jerky.
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby jjay » Mon 07 Jan, 2013 9:20 pm

We took back country dehydrated meals into Christchurch recently (can source them at wholesale so cheaper to buy locally). Declared them, an deadpan the customs guy goes "backcountry...the ones that are made here? Yep. I reckon that'll probably be aok". As others have said, they're reasonable...
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Re: taking dehydrated meals into NZ

Postby bushwackerjoe » Sun 20 Jan, 2013 12:28 pm

Don't try and bring any left over Backcountry meals back to Australia. Ours we confiscated even though they we purchased is Aus.
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