A couple have been caught allegedly manufacturing methamphetamine in a motel in an upmarket Auckland suburb.
Police have laid eight charges each against Aucklanders Vijay Jeetendar Govind, 37, and Hollie Sarah Motley, 30, after officers looking for Ms Motley stumbled across a mobile P lab at a motel in Parnell on Tuesday.
The couple were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possessing equipment and material to manufacture and consume the drug, as well as possessing cannabis and the drug GBL, a synthesised version of liquid Ecstasy.
Auckland City Police Detective Senior Sergeant Nina Pederson said police visited the motel room to speak to Ms Motley on an unrelated matter and stumbled across the alleged operation.
The couple were allegedly found with equipment including a steam distiller, par bomb, PH meters and coffee filters; and chemicals including hypo phosphorous acid, caustic soda and iodine.
It was also alleged that they had in their possession a bong for smoking marijuana and three glass pipes and a syringe for administering methamphetamine.
Mrs Pederson said it was unfair to name the motel in question, as it would have unjust commercial impacts on its business, and which was not being investigated by police.
However, she said it was not uncommon for clan labs to be found in motels, hotels or other commercial premises without the owners' knowledge.
"It's not uncommon at all to be found in a commercial premises, people book in for a few days and are off again. We either hear about them and execute a search warrant or just stumble across them like in this case."
It was also a reminder that drug crime happened in all communities.
"Lots of people think upper market parts of Auckland are immune to that, but they are not. It can happen anywhere at anytime. It's not just lower socio economic communities, it affects all our communities.
"It can happen anywhere at any time."
Hospitality NZ's accommodation general manager Rachael Shadbolt said the association had not been contacted by any of its members about the incident.
However, these sorts of incidents did happen, she said.
"Typically hotels and motels are less likely to be part of something like this as they have regular room servicing and checks, but that's not to say it's impossible.
"There was a lot of trouble a few years ago with bach bookings, where the tenants never see the owner at all."The decontamination process was timely and expensive, she said.
"It can be a devastating experience for the owners."Govind and Motely are due to appear in court next month.