The woman was arrested at Auckland Airport as she tried to board a flight to Australia on Tuesday, the Herald understands.
She appeared in Manukau District Court on Wednesday.
An Inland Revenue spokesman confirmed an arrest warrant was executed by police this week.
Taxpayer secrecy prevented the release of more details.
“Our powers to arrest at the border are used as a very last resort, and would only follow strenuous efforts to contact the borrower to make repayment arrangements – these would typically involve making phone calls, sending correspondence via mail and email to the borrower, and attempting to contact them via any third parties such as nominated persons and/or any known employer.”
About 20 people who have defaulted on their student loans are being monitored for possible arrest if they return to New Zealand.
In January, Cook Islands man Ngatokotoru Puna, 40, was arrested as he tried to leave New Zealand.
Mr Puna’s arrest was the first time the hard-line arrest policy, passed in March 2014, had been used.