Police are concerned at what appears to be a growing black market for illegal psychoactive drugs.
The statement comes after a police raid on a Tauranga motel room which resulted in three arrests. The operation resulted in the seizure of 11kg of suspected psychoactive substances.
Police would not name the motel, saying the staff and owners had no knowledge of what was occurring in one of their rooms prior to the raid, which resulted from an anonymous tip off.
We are concerned about the negative impact on individuals and our community that the use of psychoactive substances may have.
Police were still investigating the incident.
Western Bay of Plenty police Inspector Clifford Paxton said there had been a number of instances of the use and distribution of psychoactive substances, such as synthetic cannabis, which had come to police attention over the past few months.
Some of those matters were now before the courts, Mr Paxton said.
"We have seen a growing number of instances involving psychoactive substances in the Western Bay of Plenty and are undertaking significant work in this area.
"We are concerned about the negative impact on individuals and our community that the use of psychoactive substances may have."
Mr Paxton would not elaborate further, other than to encourage people to report any information they might have about the illegal use or sale of the products.
"Information directly to us is the most useful information, with the assurance that it will be treated with the strictest of confidence. If for some reason an individual feels they cannot talk to us directly they are able to provide anonymous information via Crimestoppers."
It's not the police's fault. It's society's fault because we are sweeping it under the carpet and turning a blind eye.
In May last year it became illegal to sell, possess and supply psychoactive substances with heavy penalties for those who flout the law.
Tommy Wilson, director of Te Tuinga Whanau Support services, said generally speaking there was huge demand for psychoactive drugs.
"It's no different from the bootlegging days years ago. It's supply and demand.
If there's always demand, then there'll always be supply and we know there's a huge demand out there," Mr Wilson said.
He said some people could easily walk from their home to six different places to buy psychoactive substances.
"It's not the police's fault. It's society's fault because we are sweeping it under the carpet and turning a blind eye," Mr Wilson said.
However, some people were reluctant to accept this because it painted Tauranga in a bad light, he said.
The key to curbing the problem was better education and getting the right people to wake up to reality, he said.
Michael Lawrence, a former retailer of the product, expressed deep concern at the product going underground once it was made illegal.
Mr Lawrence was no longer in the retail industry but said he was not surprised to learn of suspected psychoactive substances being sold in a black market.
Hanmer Clinic chief executive David Benton said if people really wanted psychoactive substances, they could still get supplies.
-Three woman aged 51, 39 and 20 were expected to appear in Tauranga District Court today charged with possession to supply psychoactive substances.