A Rotorua man who possessed more than 60kg of methamphetamine has had a second charge of selling it withdrawn and a sentencing date set.

Lionel James Ruka McDonald, 42, appeared in the Rotorua District Court today via audio visual link before Judge Philip Cooper.

The public gallery was full of family members and supporters.

McDonald had previously pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine for supply and not guilty to selling it.


Today the charge of selling the drug was withdrawn and a February 14 sentencing date was set for the other charge.

McDonald was remanded into custody.

McDonald was charged after a bust in Fairy Springs at 10pm on August 14, which found about $36 million worth of the drug.

At the time of the bust, acting Rotorua police area commander Inspector Phil Taikato said it was "biggest we've had in the Bay" and a "huge amount for our small town".

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

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.

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