Police seized nearly three times as much cocaine last year compared to 2016, confiscating more than 100kg in 165 drug busts.

Provisional figures police released today also showed the volume of meth seized more than halved last year, from nearly 942kg in 2059 seizures the previous year to just over 400kg in 1879 seizures last year.

A number of drug supply chains were disrupted as a result, police said.

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Celebrity hairdresser Mobeen Bhikoo was involved in a cocaine sting, one of many cocaine busts made by police and customs last year. Photo / Doug Sherring
Celebrity hairdresser Mobeen Bhikoo was involved in a cocaine sting, one of many cocaine busts made by police and customs last year. Photo / Doug Sherring

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Organised crime group national manager Detective Superintendent Greg Williams saidCustoms and police dismantled at least 10 significant transnational crime groups "preying on our communities".

"These illicit drugs are destructive and have no place in our communities," he said.

Customs and Police seized 24kg of cocaine in a bust last December. Photo / Tania Whyte
Customs and Police seized 24kg of cocaine in a bust last December. Photo / Tania Whyte

"We know they cause negative health implications and financial and social harm to users and their families."

Communities often noticed increased levels of crime such as burglaries, theft and vehicle crime as a result of drug use and dealing, Williams said.

"Often drug users try to fund their habit this way, and it's not uncommon for drug dealers to receive stolen property as payment for drugs. This affects the whole community."

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From January until November, police and customs jointly seized more than 403.5kg of methamphetamine in 1879 seizures at the border and domestically.

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The agencies also made 132 cocaine seizures, including an estimated 46kg of cocaine in Tauranga, after a five-month investigation.

It was the largest single cocaine seizure in New Zealand's history.

Offshore seizures have also prevented drugs getting into New Zealand.

Customs' intelligence, investigations and enforcement manager Jamie Bamford said a key part of New Zealand's strategy to counter cross-border smuggling was focusing on preventing the drugs from reaching New Zealand in the first place.

Customs group manager Jamie Bamford was part of the team working with police to make the seizures. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Customs group manager Jamie Bamford was part of the team working with police to make the seizures. Photo / Jason Oxenham

"Customs and Police work very closely with overseas partners to share intelligence and target the international drug suppliers and the distribution networks in New Zealand.

"International drug cartels will continue to try all methods to make money in New Zealand, and we are doing everything possible disrupt this."

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The diamante horse head, found to contain $14 million worth of cocaine in a joint customs and police investigation. Photo / NZ Police
The diamante horse head, found to contain $14 million worth of cocaine in a joint customs and police investigation. Photo / NZ Police

The available statistics were from January to November last year. Police across the country also made a number of other seizures at the end of the year, such as Operation Sweden, a collaborative effort between Wairarapa, Wellington and Counties Manukau police, that arrested 17 people and seized about 30kg of methamphetamine.