It might be early in the season but industrious cannabis growers have utilised the favourable Northland growing conditions and planted out their crops.

But police have also been just as quick to discover the plantations and have already ripped out 350 plants in a Far North plot in forestry north of Kaitaia.

The significantly-sized plot was found earlier this month and the metre-high cannabis plants, protected by a fence made of chicken wire, were destroyed by police.

Last cannabis growing season Northland police destroyed 34,428 plants, made 47 arrests and recovered $33,000 of stolen property and vehicles.


Head of Northland Police Organised Crime Squad Detective Sergeant Shane Pilmer said the public played a major role in helping police and this drug growing season was no different. With the ideal weather conditions so far this season, it could favour growers trying to produce two crops.

He urged the public not to turn a blind eye as cannabis growing and its consumption had a harmful effect on everyone in the community, from the damage to young people through to associated crimes.

"Even though it's seen by many as the lesser of two evils compared to methamphetamine, it's still a drug that causes a lot of harm," Mr Pilmer said.

For those Northlanders taking a hardline on drug growers they could leave information anonymously on a Crimestoppers tip-off line — 0800 555 111.

"If people can provide as much information about the location and be specific as possible because that is the only shot we have of getting the information."

In the past information left on the line had resulted in arrests and the destruction of cannabis plants.

Northland's expansive native bush is an ideal place for cannabis plots as it provided shelter and cover from the inquisitive eyes of the authorities.

Those utilising the great outdoors in the region, including deer stalkers, pig hunters and trampers, were also asked to keep an eye out for any suspicious behaviour.


Clues to activity linked to cannabis growing in rural areas included discarded packaging in unusual places, people carrying water containers into the bush and unexplained lights on in farmland at night.

He said to take notice of any unfamiliar vehicles parked on roads and vehicle registration numbers should be noted.

But cannabis operations were not always located in rural areas and indoor operations were common in urban environs.

Suspicious activity included windows being blacked out with plastic sheets and light emanating form garages or sheds during the night, as indoor crops were grown under lighting systems.

If you can help police reduce the amount of drugs being produced in Northland call 0800 Crimestoppers or 0800 555 111.