The Ministry for Primary Industries is asking travellers from Fiji to stop bringing "miracle water" into New Zealand if they want to avoid a stiff fine or treatment costs.
Sourced from a natural spring in Dawasumu, the untreated water is claimed to have healing properties that can cure anything from conjunctivitis to blindness.
Our concern isn’t whether the healing properties are real or not, but whether it contains waterborne diseases that could harm New Zealand’s freshwater aquaculture and natural environment," says Craig Hughes, MPI's Manager North Passenger and Mail.
"The locals may call it miracle water, but it is untreated, so it poses a biosecurity risk to New Zealand."
He says MPI border staff have seized miracle water from nearly 500 air passengers arriving from Fiji since November.
"All arriving passengers are required to declare the water at the border. If they want to keep it, they have to pay for heat treatment, which costs around $60. If they don’t declare it, they face a $400 fine or prosecution."
MPI is currently running a campaign to inform travellers from Fiji about New Zealand’s biosecurity rules regarding the water. The campaign includes notices at Nadi Airport.