A package of methamphetamine (P) bound for Hastings from China, with a street value of $280,000, has led to four people facing drug charges.

A man and woman from Auckland and a man and woman from Hawke's Bay appeared in the Napier District Court last week, charged with importing a Class A drug and possession of methamphetamine for supply. They were remanded in custody to appear in court next month.

Three of the group were aged in their 30s, with one of the women in her 20s.

They are alleged to have imported 280gm (10 ounces) of the drug via mail.

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The arrests were the result of a joint police and customs operation in which the package, sent from China, was intercepted before it could be delivered to a Hastings address. The drug was discovered by customs staff in Auckland.

A police spokeswoman said the arrests were a "good example of multi-agency co-operation in the fight against drugs being brought into the country". "It should also be a deterrent to anyone thinking of trying to import any illegal substances," she said.

It is an offence against the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 to import a Class A Controlled Drug into New Zealand. The maximum sentence for importation of a Class A drug is life imprisonment.

In December last year, police and customs made New Zealand's second-biggest methamphetamine haul, finding 22kg, or an estimated $22 million worth, of the drug hidden in the cargo of an international flight from Taiwan.

Two Taiwanese nationals were arrested and charged with importing methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine for supply.

Police said at the time the haul was the second-largest border seizure of the drug in New Zealand history, topped only by a 2006 seizure of 95kg of methamphetamine.

Police asked the public to report strange smells, fumes and vapour escaping from windows or ventilators of neighbouring properties, as well as sealed windows. These may indicate a property is being used as a P lab.

Residents who notice a property showing any of these signs are advised to leave the area immediately.

If you have information about drug cultivation, manufacture or supply contact your local Police Station. Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.