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South Island, rural isolated towns an expanding market for meth, research finds


New research has found methamphetamine is at record low prices in some parts of the country and the South Island, along with isolated rural towns are experiencing a surge in supply of the drug. 

The Massey University research shows a gram of P can cost as little as $450 in Auckland, Waikato and Wellington.

The national median price for a gram of meth has dropped from $538 last year to about $500 this year.

Associate Professor Chris Wilkins of Massey University lead the research and told TVNZ1’s Breakfast that the drug market is just like any other market - based on supply and demand.

“Its a demand and supply story and if people want something and the price is good then supply increases”.

He says meth is now easier to get and the price is dropping.

“A lot of this is about market expansion and as we are seeing in these results, the really big price drops are actually in the South Island where they traditionally had prices of $800 a gram and in this survey it’s down to $600 a gram,” he says.

He says there are also “really active drug markets in smaller, isolated, rural towns and gangs are taking advantage of that”.

Mr Wilkins says although there have been some significant drug seizures this year, there is still a fair amount of drugs getting through isolated coastlines.

He says Mexico and China are major sources of the drug.

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Associate Professor Chris Wilkins says increased supply of the drug in along with a price drop has contributed to more availability. Source: Breakfast