New Zealand's meth addiction: How this big problem is affecting every small town

Feilding, population 16,000, is a busy and beautiful rural town - but it has a really ugly problem: methamphetamine is everywhere. 

A support group of addicts and recovering addicts invited Newshub National Correspondent Patrick Gower in to show the reality of meth, and what it can do in one town.

There are more places to buy P in Feilding than to buy cannabis. Jamie-Lee says you can get it in minutes.

"If I wanted to get it, I could send a text and it'd take five to ten minutes," she said.

Jamie Lee says she could get her hands on meth in minutes when she was addicted.
Jamie Lee says she could get her hands on meth in minutes when she was addicted. Photo credit: Supplied

Kesarah says she just has to walk down the street.

"It is easier to get than weed now. And God, the stuff that goes around will send you into psychosis and this demon of a person," she says.

Mark says the availability makes it hard to give up.

"The temptations around the people I know in this small town - it is just hard to get away and say no."

Mark talks about his struggles with addiction.
Mark talks about his struggles with addiction. Photo credit: Newshub

Another woman admits she manufactured and dealt the drug in Feilding, and Jimmy admits he is still on it.

Meanwhile Leighton's addiction led him to attempted suicide. His wife Trina, who attends the meeting to support him, hates how easy it is to get.

"You could score a bag in 15 minutes," she says.

Leighton describing his struggles.
Leighton describing his struggles. Photo credit: Newshub

But it is not just Feilding; Carl says it is the same all around New Zealand.

"I could confidently say to you that you could drop me off in any town or city in this country, give me 15 minutes, and I will bring you back a bag," he said.

Cam has come south from the Waikato, thinking he could get away from his P addiction.

"Anywhere in the Waikato I can have it in 20 minutes," he said.

Cam and Jamie-Lee meet at the support group.
Cam and Jamie-Lee meet at the support group. Photo credit: Newshub

But he says it's just as easy to get in Feilding or anywhere else in the country.

"All you gotta do is find the right person walking down the street, pull over and ask. It is as simple as that."

Cam reckons Government-subsidised motels for the homeless have turned into drug supermarkets.

"If you go to any Government-sponsored motel and pick the room that's got the loudest music at the latest time.

These addictions are all paid for by crime and cause crime in Feilding. Local police attend this meeting to learn, and Constable Allan McLean says the destruction is clear.

"You can see if you take away the drug, you take away half the crime we are dealing with," he said.

For the meth addict it comes down to choices - and choosing meth is made very easy.

"All you have to do is ask for it. And asking for it is so much easier than asking for help," one man tells Newshub.

This meeting is organised by social worker Robyn Duncan, who says it saves lives.

"It would also slow down the meth dealers, because the more people we get in here, the less people that are going to buy it," she said.

"We're not gonna stop it - never. But every person we can get in this door, is one that stops buying."

Methamphetamine: the big problem in every small town.