The role New Zealand plays in Fiji's drug crisis revealed after massive meth bust

There are calls for New Zealand to take some responsibility in supporting Fiji's uphill battle against drug addiction.

A historic three-and-a-half tonnes of methamphetamine has been seized in one of the country's largest-ever drug busts, and some of it was destined for our own shores.  

It took 797 containers wrapped in tape to conceal the three-and-a-half tonnes of methamphetamine.

For a drug normally measured in grams, it's hard to overstate the scale of this bust.

"I mean this is next level," New Zealand National Organised Crime Group director Greg Williams said.

"It would create $3 billion worth of social harm in this country if it ever got here, so it's extraordinary."

The drugs were found in a vacant house in the city of Nadi, and Fiji officials are confident they were en route to Australia and New Zealand.

New Zealand Customs declined a request for an interview, however, in a statement to Newshub they confirmed a portion of the methamphetamine was likely destined for our shores.

They also said the drug causes "devastating harm" in every country and community it enters.

Fiji's become a key part of what's known as the 'Narco Highway'. It's used as a stopover for drugs heading for bigger Pacific markets.

"We've had a belief and we've been aware that the islands have often been used as trade shipment hubs," Williams said. "I think that is pretty definitive. That's probably what this is."

Once the drugs land in Fiji, some of them make their way into the community, and locals are getting hooked.

Fiji Home Affairs Minister Pio Tikoduadua told media: "I will be the first to admit, we have an issue. A really big issue. It's killing our people, it's killing our people."

Drug-Free Fiji founder Kalesi Volatabu described it as a crisis that's getting worse by the week.

"The demand is in the US, Australia and New Zealand, and because of that we've now got a market here," Volatabu said.

"We don't have the facilities to cater for that, we don't have the drug and alcohol rehab to cater for that."

She said the impact it's having, especially in regard to needle use, has been massive even with children.

"We are not even a million in population. We've lost 20 people in the last six months. Yes, just to AIDS and HIV," Volatabu explained.

"We were finding needles and meth in the school. We've got kids in the street - one in three - [becoming] mules. They've been targeted."

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters was not available to comment on the calls for support on Tuesday.

While New Zealand is involved with joint drug-fighting initiatives like a dog detector programme and the sharing of intelligence, Volatabu said it's simply not enough.

"Definitely, huge responsibility, pleading to the diplomatic court," she said. "You know, we need the help."

Fiji is left waiting for aid to fight a problem that New Zealand's drug addiction helped create.