Waikato police have made several arrests after successfully busting four commercial-scale meth labs in the North Island region.
According to a statement from Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley on Tuesday night, local staff assisted by the National Clandestine Laboratory Response team targeted five addresses across Matamata, Waharoa and Morrinsville last weekend.
Methamphetamine and commercial quantities of meth manufacturing chemicals and equipment were seized at the time.
Four people are now facing charges in relation to the operation.
- A 35-year-old man has been remanded in custody charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, supplying methamphetamine and the possession of equipment and materials for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. He is set to reappear in the Hamilton District Court on September 29.
- A 56-year-old man has been remanded in custody on charges of possession of methamphetamine for supply. He was due to reappear in the Hamilton District Court on Tuesday.
- A 40-year-old woman has been charged with possession of methamphetamine for supply. She has been remanded on bail to reappear in the Hamilton District Court on October 27.
- A 59-year-old man has been charged with permitting premises for manufacturing methamphetamine and unlawful possession of firearms. He has been remanded on bail to reappear in the Hamilton District Court on September 28.
Det Insp Pitkethley said the operation wouldn't have been possible without the help of the public.
"Ultimately, we were able to do this due to the resolve of our community who helped us identify this harmful behaviour in their neighbourhoods and came forward to let us know," he said.
"It is not lost on our communities that methamphetamine use has the greatest impact on our most vulnerable and we need to work in partnership to disrupt this type of offending."
He said information can be anything from unusual comings and goings of vehicles, to chemical odours, to the presence of security or surveillance systems.
"The information the public provides Police about unusual or suspicious behaviour assists us as we build a comprehensive picture about the manufacture, distribution and supply of drugs.
"These labs are extremely dangerous and we would always encourage people to advise us of their suspicions without doing their own detective work."
Police say they encourage anyone affected by drug addiction to seek help through the Alcohol and Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797, or free text 868.
"Anyone with information about drug offending, suspicious financial activities or the identification and location of proceeds of crime is urged to contact Police by phoning 105, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."