The Rotorua community is praising police for the biggest drug bust made in the Bay of Plenty, with $36 million worth of methamphetamine seized.

Officers seized more than 60kg of meth on Wednesday night after carrying out a search warrant at a Rotorua address.

Acting Rotorua police area commander Inspector Phil Taikato said police executed a search warrant at a Fairy Springs property about 10pm.

The search found at least 20kg of the drug, he said.


Police also found a storage shed in Ngongotahā estimated to have contained a further 40kg to 50kg of meth.

A 42-year-old Rotorua man was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine for supply.

He was granted interim name suppression and remanded without plea, when he appeared before Community Magistrate Lesley Jensen yesterday.

He is due to reappear on August 27 in the Rotorua District Court.

The 60kg seized has an estimated street value of more than $36m.

Taikato called the significant bust the "biggest we've had in the Bay".

He said the bust was a "huge amount for our small town" and was a result of New Zealand becoming a destination of choice for people involved in drugs.

Taikato said many found ways of "funding their habit" through crime, so getting it out of the community was a win all-round.


Police were grateful for the community and their help in locating and shutting drug operations, he said.

The bust was significantly larger than the $420,000 worth of meth seized from properties in Rotorua and Auckland in December, which resulted in four people being arrested.

The biggest meth bust in New Zealand was in 2016, when police found 501kg of the drug in Totara North and on Ninety Mile Beach.

The haul had an estimated street value of almost half a billion dollars.

A number of residents commented on the Rotorua Daily Post Facebook page congratulating the police on the successful raid.

Comments such as "keep going, get that stuff off the streets" and "good job" flooded the page.

One woman said, "Well done police, less of this horrible drug on the streets of Rotorua!"

Back in 2017, a number of police and social leaders held a hui at Rotorua's Taharangi Marae that aimed to eradicate the meth "epidemic" the town was facing.

It aimed to inform the community of the danger and damage the drug could cause and give raw details on the effects and even the ingredients that make up the illicit drug.

Reformed criminal and anti-drug advocate Billy Macfarlane said the meth problem in Rotorua seemed to be getting worse but it was a manifestation of wider social problems in the community.

Getting meth off local streets was "very important" as it was likely going to go somewhere which could even be further afield than Rotorua, he said.

He said it was more about sorting out the people than just getting rid of the drugs.

Macfarlane said meth destroyed his family and it was not until he addressed bigger personal problems that he was able to say no to the drug.

He has approached local iwi to help begin rebuilding families and communities to tackle the drug problem at ground level, he said.