Law enforcement experts say New Zealand and Australian drug markets devastating Pacific Island nations

Law enforcement experts say the New Zealand and Australian drug markets are impacting Pacific Island nations.

In the past five years, the amount of narcotics being trafficked through small Pacific Island nations have risen dramatically, The Guardian reports.

It is understood Latin American and US drug traffickers pass through Pacific nations before arriving in New Zealand and Australia.

"We have to take ownership for the fact that this is a problem impacting the Pacific purely due to Australia and New Zealand's appetite for cocaine and methamphetamines," Massey University transnational crime in the Pacific researcher Jose Sousa-Santos told The Guardian.

"If we didn't have Australian and New Zealand drug markets, we wouldn't have the movement of drugs through the Pacific."

And the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade agrees methamphetamine is a concern for Pacific Island nations.

"Working in partnership with Pacific neighbours to address drug-related issues is a priority for New Zealand," a spokesperson told The Guardian.

A report from the Drug Intelligence bureau, obtained by Newshub last month, shows the US was the top exporter of Mexican meth to New Zealand last year, and states: "Mexican produced meth flows into the nation (US) through the southwest border and then to NZ where the finished product earns far more".

"We pay top dollar. So if you want a good return on your money, you will sell it to New Zealand," National Drug Intelligence bureau manager John O'Keeffe told Newshub in March.

"For example, a kilo of methamphetamine in the US is around US$5000. A kilo in New Zealand is $160,000."