By Susan Strongman of RNZ
Police and Medsafe have raided the Hauraki Plains property of a man who sells a bleach he claims can cure Covid-19, RNZ understands.
The raid came after RNZ reported, in May, that Ngatea man Roger Blake was selling "Miracle Mineral Solution", or MMS, which he said helped people who drank it to "overcome" conditions including cancer, HIV, autism and Covid-19.
Blake said the authorities seized chemicals, business records and a computer during the raid.
Blake, who sells the chemicals online and through his Ngatea Water Gardens business, said his property was "plundered" by four Medsafe officers and six police on July 15.
"Medsafe has claimed this week that the products sold through the NZ Water Purifier website are medicines, and they were therefore seizing and removing all of the products [including a substantial quantity of unlabelled empty bottles]", he wrote on his website.
Officers seized a computer and other records, which contained customers' names, addresses, emails and phone numbers, he said.
There is no scientific evidence that drinking the chemical sold by Blake - chlorine dioxide - can cure any disease, according to the health ministry's medical safety authority, Medsafe.
The authority warns that side effects of doing so can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and severe dehydration, which may be life threatening.
It has also been shown to be capable of rusting steel within hours.
Under the Medicines Act, it is unlawful to advertise or make therapeutic claims about an unapproved medicine. Medsafe is responsible for administering the Act.
Blake describes himself as a "bishop" of the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing. The "church" originated in Florida and is not religious. Its sole function is to promote the use of the bleach formula Miracle Mineral Supplement, which its followers also sell.
The search of Blake's Ngatea property came just five days after a similar raid took place at a Florida property associated with Genesis II.
On July 10, United States law enforcement and federal agencies, including the FDA, raided a property associated with Genesis II in Bradenton, Florida.
Authorities identified almost 190 litres of muriatic acid and 83 litres of MMS at the address and seized almost four tonnes of sodium chlorite, which is a combustible material used to make MMS, when combined with acid.
New Zealand police and Medsafe are yet to respond to RNZ's requests for comment.
In May, Medsafe group manager Chris James told RNZ that the maximum penalty for advertising an unapproved medicine was a maximum of $100,000 for a corporate body, $200,000 for an individual, or a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months.
In his online post, Blake said Medsafe was "conducting further investigations" and had not told him how long that would take.
Blake did not respond to RNZ's requests for comment.