He said he wanted to feed it to his son, but a chef's decision to lie about the dried duck kidneys in his luggage has cost a chef almost $4000.

Fifty-two-year-old Rutian Ou lied to quarantine officers about the contents of two packets of food in his luggage when he returned to New Zealand from Hong Kong in July last year.

He was fined $3700 and ordered to pay court costs when he appeared in the Manukau District Court last week.

Ou had made a false declaration on his passenger arrival card and when he was stopped by biosecurity officers he claimed the packets contained shellfish.

Ministry for Primary Industries spokesman Craig Hughes said the man later admitted the contents were duck.

"When we interviewed him, he said he knew the product was duck meat but said it was seafood because he wanted to keep it. He said he wanted to give the duck meat to his son.

"Duck kidneys from overseas are a strictly prohibited product. The biosecurity risks associated with duck meat and duck meat products are serious."


There were a number of diseases prevalent within the Hong Kong/Chinese chicken stocks, such as Newcastle disease and avian influenza, which are not present in New Zealand, Hughes said.

"If these entered the country, it would cause considerable mortality and economic cost to the poultry industry. It would also put New Zealand's native bird biodiversity at risk.

"This sort of offending is very serious ... this man knowingly and recklessly displayed a lack of regard for our biosecurity. These sorts of actions won't be tolerated."