A meth lab has been uncovered by police at a Northland property where five children all younger than 12 were living.

One of the children was under 1 and police have involved Oranga Tamariki saying the children's safety and welfare was paramount.

Two properties in Kaiwaka were searched by police and Northland Armed Offenders Squad members about 6am on Wednesday and an Auckland-based clandestine laboratory team was called to help safely remove the drug lab in a shed about 100m from the house.

Police said other drug-making items were found in a car at the property.


Acting Detective Inspector Aaron Proctor said the arrests showed the commitment of Northland police to hold those responsible for spreading harm through the community by spreading the dangerous drug.

"We know methamphetamine is causing devastation to families and whanau across New Zealand. We continue to encourage our community to provide us with information so that we can stop these people who are distributing this drug and do not care at all about the impact it has on users."

The newly formed District Meth Harm Reduction Team also helped with the search warrants. The team is being piloted in Northland to help meth users access support to become drug free.

A 31-year-old farmhand, from Kaiwaka, faces two charges of supplying methamphetamine and 12 of offering to supply methamphetamine and one of supplying cannabis. The maximum penalty for supplying methamphetamine is life imprisonment.

The offences are alleged to have happened between November 8 last year and March 19 this year. The female farmhand was remanded in custody to appear in Whangarei District Court on April 23.

A 33-year-old farmer, of Kaiwaka, has been charged with manufacturing methamphetamine between March 11 and April 11, 2018.

He faces an additional charge of possessing methamphetamine and another of possessing cannabis. He was also remanded in custody and will appear again on April 23.

Investigations continue and police said more arrests are possible.


Police and the Northland District Health Board under the Te Ara Oranga pilot are working with partner agencies to reduce the harm methamphetamine is causing in Northland communities.

The Northland DHB and the police were allocated $3 million from proceeds of the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act to deliver the Te Ara Oranga Methamphetamine Demand Reduction strategy pilot for a year.

But there was still much work to be done, Northland police boss Superintendent Russell Le Prou said.

"Eliminating methamphetamine from communities requires a whole of community approach which is what Te Ara Oranga has been designed to achieve. Community engagement across Northland has been fantastic and is making a difference locally."

For help with drug addiction contact the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787797 or email MethHarmReductionteam@police.govt.nz

Anyone with information about the manufacture and sale of meth should call police or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.