A Belgian tourist has been turned away at the border after trying to smuggle three sausages into New Zealand.

The Ministry For Primary Industries say the passenger was refused entry into the country at Auckland Airport on Sunday after x-ray machines picked up the banned smallgoods.

The passenger had tried to hide them in a backpack as he passed through biosecurity checks.

MPI north passenger manager Craig Hughes said the prohibited meat posed a major risk to the country's agriculture industry and it was necessary to take a hard line on international travellers who deliberately ignored the rules.


"One of our x-ray operators spotted the risk items. They turned out to be pork and salami sausages, both of which could have carried diseases with the potential to cause major harm to New Zealand agriculture," said Hughes.

The man was returning to the country on a work visa and confessed he was aware of New Zealand's strict biosecurity requirements.

"It is loud and clear that every arriving passenger is required to declare or dispose items that could pose biosecurity risk to New Zealand," Hughes said.