Armed police discovered live booby traps, an underground bunker and weapons including an AK47 during a raid of a property near Timaru today.
Detective Senior Sergeant Richard Quested said police searched six properties in the last three days across Ashburton and Timaru, in response to activity in the area by gang associates.
Police also found a crossbow, 15 grams of untested white powder, three fire arms, a large cylinder of an explosive product with a detonator and detonator cord and ammunition, when they searched a home south of Timaru.
Police were still looking for the occupants.
Drugs including methamphetamine, ecstasy and cannabis, as well as cash and a cannabis-growing operation were found at the other properties.
Six people have been charged with offending, including the sale and supply of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of firearms, breach of a protection order, threatening behaviour and cultivating cannabis.
They will appear before the courts in the coming days.
"This is clear signal to organised crime groups and individuals dealing drugs and committing violent offences that the police will detect and disrupt their activities," Quested said.