My wife and I (both British) will shortly be moving to New Zealand for a period of between 3 and 6 months. My wife will be travelling on a work visa, but I will be travelling via visa waiver due to my British citizenship - my intention for the duration is primarily holiday and visiting family and friends (I have ample independent funds for this duration, and will not be reliant on my wife for funds), but I also intend to expand my knowledge of certain software development approaches during the evenings and weekends.

To this end, I plan on taking my laptop and four Mac Minis set up as Linux servers.

Is this likely to cause me issue with NZ Customs or Immigration on entry?

My concerns are two fold:

  • that immigration may consider this to be a business or work aspect to my visit (it isnt, I will not be creating a product nor running a business while in the country)
  • that Customs may see four Mac Minis as excessive and either challenge it, confiscate them or charge me duty/GST on entry (I read that I can claim this back on exit, so its not a huge issue - but I would love a heads up if this is the likely outcome).
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on travel.
    – ouflak
    Jun 2, 2017 at 22:23
  • @ouflak they're on a work visa as they live there, so it's a silghtly more complex issue that affects expats.
    – Mark Mayo
    Jul 18, 2017 at 3:33

1 Answer 1


I have no idea if this was just a "lucky escape" or if it helps someone else by putting their mind to rest, but I had no problems.

On the arrivals declaration form, I ticked the box which said I was bringing into the country goods purchased overseas worth more than $700 - this is probably true for most travellers, as a decent laptop, mobile phone and tablet will put you over it easily.

I never saw an immigration official - as a British passport holder, I was directed to the electronic gates on entry and received my on-entry 6-month visa automatically.

I handed my form to the customs official who directed me down a particular channel - my luggage was x-rayed (everyones was) and I was released into New Zealand without any further questions.

They were more interested in the fact that my wife had ticked "yes" to carrying food, but lost interest the moment she explained it was sealed commercial product (chocolate, marmite etc).

At no point were we asked any questions in regards to the $700 over seas goods answer.

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