I guess this question comes under the general heading of "is there a better way?".
I have Zimbra NE 5.0.2 and get occasional requests for restore. There is one thing that's easy to restore: whole mailboxes. But far more common in my experience are requests to restore individual mails or folders or calendars deleted in error.
As far as I know, the best way for each of these is:
Restoring a distribution list
Distribution lists aren't backed up as far as I know, so there isn't a formal restore. The best way I've come across is, assuming the list was recently used, to recreate it from the entries in zimbra.log.
Restoring an individual mail
To restore a deleted email, restore the whole account under a different name (e.g. email@example.com). The mail can be transferred across using IMAP, but only by the user (or someone else who knows the account password). Alternatively, there's a way to do it using zmmailbox, but I haven't figured it out myself or found it documented anywhere.
Restoring a mail folder
Although I haven't got it to work myself, Troy Adams has written a perl script to transfer the contents of a folder from one mailbox to another
Additionally, imapsync can be used (again, as long as you know the destination password).
Both methods assume you've already restored the whole account from backup.
Restoring a calendar
Kevin Miller has a method for restoring a calendar by exporting it from the restored account as an ics file, then importing it into the real account using curl. Again, you seem to need to know the destination password and, again, it's messy, but it works.
Again, this assumes you've first restored the whole account from backup.
What seems to be missing is a set of administration tools to easily perform these tasks: to backup distribution lists in the first place and then to copy or move a folder or message from one account to another.