Huge 25 per cent spike in NZ meth availability and affordability – report

A report from Massey University shows that methamphetamine is becoming cheaper and easier to find in New Zealand.

Massey University drug researcher Dr Chris Wilkins says the supply of meth coming out of Asia now is huge, which is lowering the price here. Source: Breakfast

The report follows a similar online survey conducted earlier this year, and shows the number of drug users who said meth was easily accessible increased from 19 per cent in 2015 to 44 per cent in 2016.

Researcher Dr Chris Wilkins, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme, said the supply of meth coming out of Asia was the primary cause.

About 450kg of crystal methamphetamine was seized in Northland last year, which Dr Wilkins said "represents what we're up against".

"A lot of people associate drug with urban centres - with cities - whereas what we've been finding ... is that actually lots of regions and smaller cities and towns actually have really serious drug problems and they don't have the same access to services that the main centres have," Dr Wilkins said.

"I think one of the main challenges for us [New Zealand] is to rebalance our approach awayfrom just stricter enforcement, higher penalties, to more health focused where we look at treatment, we look at prevention."