Wairoa, Napier and Hastings are ranked above the national average for meth use per person, according to data from wastewater testing.
The NZ Herald obtained two years of wastewater test results that police have used to monitor consumption of illegal drugs around the country since late 2018.
Between 2018 and 2020, the figures indicated the highest levels of meth use per person were in Kaitaia, Opotiki, Wairoa, Kawerau, Tokoroa and Huntly. Their residents consumed more than twice the national average of 4.11 grams per 1000 people a week.
Wairoa ranked third, with the test results showing an average of 10.45g per 1000 people a week.
It's not a statistic to be proud of, Wairoa District Council mayor Craig Little says.
"We know we have a problem. We need the Government to step up and stop the cycle by cutting the supply chain, because the drugs are coming from outside."
Little said part of the attraction of meth was that it was a "good money maker".
"It's getting pushed onto kids with promises of motorbikes and money if they sell," he said.
He said organisations like Enabled Wairoa were steps the community was taking to reduce the impact of meth on the community.
"School leavers, older people, everyone is taking it. It's a big problem and we are trying to do what we can locally."
Enabled Wairoa is a community based, social services provider which delivers programmes like "Whānau Against Meth" which was derived from Nannies Against P and their whānau, with the intention of having their stories heard and using their experiences to reject P.
"Council isn't the police, and the police can only work with the intel they have been provided," Little said.
"We have gangs and others pushing meth in Wairoa and we have people protecting them and not reporting them to police."
Hastings ranked 21st, with numbers sitting at 4.94g per 1000 people per week.
Hastings District Council mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said it was "devastating" to hear about the high use of methamphetamine in the community.
"P is a destructive drug which is easy to access and can destroy not only the lives of those who use it but their families and loved ones too," she said.
"The reality is that drug use has become a crutch for too many people who are struggling with their mental health and who have limited access to support or resources."
Hazlehurst said the council's eight Youth Connectors were successfully working with the Government and iwi partners to connect youth people into career pathways to give them a sense of hope and access to opportunities for them and their families.
"The Government has allocated $1.9 billion for mental health," she said.
"I would like to see a community drug rehabilitation centre built in Hastings."
She said it was heartening to see Hawke's Bay police working to limit the supply of P and other drugs as demonstrated through Operation Dusk- an 18-month investigation targeting senior members of the Mongrel Mob across Hawke's Bay and resulting in seizure of $2 million worth of assets and six arrests.
Napier ranked 12th with 6.31g per 1000 people a week. Mayor Kirsten Wise said it was a subject best commented on by police.
The wastewater testing is part of a new police strategy implemented in 2019 which aims to reduce demand for drugs at the same time as investigating the criminal networks that supply them.