Three P dealers have been sentenced to a combined total of more than 18 years in jail for "dealing in human misery".
In the High Court at Rotorua today, Tai Anthony Rewita, 43, was sentenced to eight years and six months in jail for five charges of supplying methamphetamine (P), one charge of possession of methamphetamine for supply and one charge of conspiracy to supply the drug.
Stefan Isaac Ede, 37, was sentenced to five years and eight months for two charges of possession of methamphetamine for supply and one charge of possession of cannabis for sale.
Andrew Crombie, 59, was sentenced to four years and three months on one charge of possession of methamphetamine for supply.
In sentencing, Justice Rebecca Edwards told the offenders: "It has been said by countless judges before me, but I repeat it here again, that dealing in methamphetamine is dealing in human misery."
"It brings destruction and despair to families and communities and causes widespread harm to all parts of New Zealand society."
The charges arose out of a police investigation code-named "Operation Ice Road".
Rewita was the central figure in that investigation and the police intercepted a number of telephone calls and text messages between he and his associates.
Justice Edwards said the total amount of methamphetamine supplied by Rewita, and in his possession, was 221.2 grams.
"You were generally dealing in one ounce or two ounce lots, with each ounce selling between $12,000 and $12,500.
"This was a commercial operation with large sums of money being generated in a relatively short period of time."
She said Rewita had a lengthy criminal history including convictions from 2012 for supplying methamphetamine.
"In terms of personal mitigating factors, you have written a letter expressing remorse for your offending and full responsibility for your actions. You detail a traumatic childhood in which you were forced to drink alcohol and raped on multiple occasions.
"You link those experiences to your addiction to methamphetamine. You have sought counselling to assist you in dealing with that childhood trauma. . . That is a hugely positive step to take, Mr Rewita."
When sentencing Ede Justice Edwards took the two charges of possession of methamphetamine for supply as the lead charges.
"That relates to methamphetamine found in your possession on 2 May and on 9 May 2016. Each charge involved approximately 2 ounces; 111.4 grams in total.
"You have told the pre-sentence report writer that the methamphetamine was purchased for your own personal use. I accept some of it would be for personal use given your long standing addiction problems.
"But the sheer quantity purchased in the space of a week suggests that you were involved in commercial drug dealing at a significant scale. However, by comparison to Mr Rewita's role, I accept your counsel's characterisation of you as a middle man.
She said Ede had support from a previous employer and good family support.
He also had a lengthy history of drug related convictions, she said.
Justice Edwards then turned to Crombie, who also had a lengthy history of drug offending.
"You were found with approximately two ounces (56 grams) of methamphetamine which was hidden in the heater vent of your car. Your passenger was found with a small amount of methamphetamine on him at the time the vehicle was stopped.
"You have summed up your offending as being stupid. You have disclosed that you used regularly on release from your last prison sentence but got tired of the scene and you do not have a drug dependency at present."
She said he had written to the court apologising for his offending, "accepting responsibility for it, and expressing a determination to do all you can to complete your time in prison without incident".