A Kerikeri man is challenging Customs to explain why it has allowed the importing of lamp bases filled with dirt to weigh them down.
When Don Cottle's standard lamp base broke this morning, dirt spilled out and he discovered soil in a flimsy plastic sachet had been used to weight the base.
He said he believed the lamp was made in China.
"This is not good enough, this stuff coming in."
Mr Cottle rang the Ministry of Primary Industries to complain, and the staff member who took the call was not interested, leaving him fuming, he said.
As an earth-moving contractor, Mr Cottle sends machines overseas, and he said they needed to be meticulously steam-cleaned before Customs would let them back into the country.
Mr Cottle said it was not good enough that foreign soil could be slipped past New Zealand borders in lamps.
A Ministry of Primary Industries spokesperson told RNZ it would investigate the claim.
A spokesman said in normal circumstances Mr Cottle would have had a chat with an incursion investigator.
One would be despatched this afternoon to inspect the contents of his lamp base, it said.