Hawke's Bay Police have made their largest ever methamphetamine bust in the region after a six month long investigation into an organised crime unit.

Over the last two days police executed eight search warrants for homes in Napier and Hastings and arrested 13 people for high level drug offending.

A number of those arrested were Mongrel Mob members.

Police seized three kilograms of methamphetamine holding a street value of $2.5 million, along with $343,000 in cash, 2,200 LSD tabs, eight firearms, six upmarket vehicles and a new Harley Davidson motorcycle.


Detective Inspector Mike Foster said an investigation team had spent months working tirelessly to dismantle the drug supply, and in doing so had prevented significant harm to the community.

"The destruction methamphetamine causes cannot be underestimated. Police and our community within Eastern district will not tolerate this sort of behaviour.

"Drug use is a driver of numerous other crimes so operations of this nature will continue to be a priority for Eastern District Police."

He said those arrested were facing charges including supplying methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine for supply and firearms charges.

Today Shane Thompson, Freeman Babbington-Dougherty, Petara Gamlen, Jason Bennett, Uriah Whetu Monty Wirihana, Hine Wikohika, Nerrisha Marie Margaret Grant, Jordan Daniel Mita and Matiu Edwards appeared in the Hastings District Court charged with methamphetamine crimes.

Each will each appear in the Hastings District Court and enter pleas before a Judge on October 10.

The youngest defendant, Babbington-Dougherty, is 22-years old and the eldest is 46-year-old Bennett.

Thompson, 31, faces the most charges with 14 counts of supplying meth and five each of possessing and conspiring to deal the drug.


All but one defendant were alleged to have conspired to deal methamphetamine.

The rest of the 13 individuals arrested will appear tomorrow.

Today Grant, Mita, Wikohika and Wirihana were each granted bail and the remaining defendants were remanded in custody.

Family and friends of the defendants filled the public gallery in the early afternoon, waiting to hear the application outcomes.

Inspector Foster said police would ensure that those who were reliant on meth would be referred to the relevant agencies to ensure they get the support they need to address their use.

"Let's work together to ensure we stop drugs such as methamphetamine causing more harm to our communities by continuing to be vigilant to this type of behaviour."

Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 the maximum penalty for both supplying meth and possessing the class A controlled drug is life imprisonment. The maximum for conspiring to deal the drug is 14 years' imprisonment.

Police encouraged anyone who may have any information about drug related offending to contact Police. You can do so in confidence by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.