Police arrested eight people on drug-related charges after a number of search warrants were carried out in Rotorua, Tauranga, and Paeroa today.
The search warrants followed a two-month investigation by Police's National Organised Crime Group (NOCG) into a significant drug-dealing network operating in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions.
Six women and two men, aged from 28 to 55 years, were arrested today.
They face a total of 42 charges including importing methamphetamine, GBL and MDMA, and possession and distribution of these drugs.
Detective Senior Sergeant Brett Shields said in a statement the investigation initially arose out of enquiries after a large amount of iodine was stolen from a commercial property in Tauranga in November last year.
Iodine is used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
"As our investigation unfolded we identified an extensive network involved in the importation of methamphetamine, GBL, MDMA, and pre-cursors used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine," he said.
The investigation uncovered a significant drug dealing network centred in the Bay of Plenty and extending into the Waikato region.
Those arrested will appear in Whakatāne, Hamilton and Rotorua District Courts in the coming days.
Today, police also seized methamphetamine and MDMA, LSD, cannabis, cash, Bitcoin, a ute, and a number of electronic items used in coordinating drug importation and distribution.
"These illicit drugs cause a significant amount of harm in communities across New Zealand," Shields said.
"They destroy the lives of users, as well as hurting users' families and loved ones."
He said police were confident the arrests would result in a major disruption to the supply of meth and other illicit drugs in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions.
Those affected by drug addiction can seek help through the Alcohol and Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797, or free text 868.
Anyone with information about drug offending in their communities is urged to contact Police. Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.