Sometime in the next week a ship – one which until this week didn't appear on any arrivals list, and is carrying an undisclosed cargo – will dock in New Zealand.

Named the Venture Pearl, it has woven a clandestine course for seven weeks since leaving El Aaiun in Western Sahara, and was supposedly heading for China.

Its real destination is New Zealand – as finally (on Tuesday) recognised when it became listed to call at Tauranga next Wednesday and Bluff on August 1. Neither of those scheduled calls can be taken for granted; could it slip into Napier unannounced.

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