Police have seized about 9500 cannabis plants during a joint three-week drug operation with the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

The cannabis plants, which were grown illicitly in remote areas, were found in the Tasman and Central Police districts.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopter was used to remove the cannabis plants from the area.

Royal New Zealand Air Force's air commodore Tim Walshe said helicopter support for the operation was important because cannabis plants were grown illicitly in remote areas.

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New Zealand Police personnel scour the bush for cannabis plants from a Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopter. Photo / Supplied
New Zealand Police personnel scour the bush for cannabis plants from a Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopter. Photo / Supplied

"For years, we have been contributing to police efforts to prevent the social harm caused by the illicit cultivation and supply of cannabis," Walshe said.

Detective Senior Sergeant Scott McGill said continued support from the NZDF has enabled New Zealand Police to sustain their long-standing campaign against the illicit cultivation of cannabis.

"Police will continue to target and disrupt the networks of organised crime groups which continue to profit from the supply and distribution of cannabis," McGill said.

About 9500 cannabis plants were seized during a recent joint operation between the New Zealand Defence Force and New Zealand Police. Photo / Supplied
About 9500 cannabis plants were seized during a recent joint operation between the New Zealand Defence Force and New Zealand Police. Photo / Supplied