Salvation Army report reveals 'massive issues' with drugs, racial tensions

A new report from the Salvation Army has revealed New Zealanders have easy access to drugs, and some communities can access them in minutes.

The State of the Community report looked at six different communities, Kaitaia, Whangarei, Manurewa in Auckland, New Plymouth, Hornby in Christchurch and Timaru.

Report author Ronji Tanielu told The AM Show it was clear they were too easy to access across the country.

"A couple of people said that [they could get methamphetamine in five minutes in Timaru] which was quite surprising for us," he said.

"Again drugs, meth, P, was probably one of the key overarching themes across all six areas. I mean even someone in Whangarei said meth was easier to get then weed.

"If people are saying that across the country then obviously there's some massive issues when it comes to availability and access to drugs."

Mr Tanilu said communities wanted to see change around drugs, particularly in Northland where respondents noted the lack of mental health care and wanted more.

Racial tensions


The report also revealed some demographics felt racially discriminated against, like Manurewa where the Indian and east Asian population claimed to be intimidated by the Pasifika people, while in Northland Māori feel they are treated unjustly.

Mr Tanielu said diversity came up a lot in the report, but it was different across the country.

"For example Timaru they acknowledged that they were quite a monocultural society and so having diversity or a change is a challenge for them," he said.

"Those things were something that we didn't expect with this report but it came out strongly."

The full State of the Community report will be released later on Wednesday morning.