30 May 2019

NZ police minister gets potential lead on Cook Islands drug trade

1:55 pm on 30 May 2019

New Zealand's police minister says he has been given important information about methamphetamine dealings in the Cook Islands.

The Cook Islands News reports Stuart Nash was approached by a Cook Islander in Auckland and the information, which has the potential to lead to a major drug bust, has now been passed on to local authorities.

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Photo: wikipedia

Mr Nash said the information was regarding the name of a person who is allegedly behind the growing drug problem in the country.

He also said the methamphetamine issue was part of the discussion at the recent Joint Ministerial Forum in Aitutaki last week.

Mr Nash said New Zealand Police are ready to assist their local counterparts if they are needed to help investigate the methamphetamine dealings there.

He said the person who gave him the information was concerned with meth slowly making ground in the islands.

"This guy is a Cook Islands community leader and he has seen what methamphetamine has done to New Zealand.

"We had this long conversation and he said to me that he is really concerned that if this takes hold here, it will be magnified from what he has seen in Auckland because he knows it's just a small community here. That's why if there is an invitation to help then I'm sure we can do what we can," the minister said.

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Photo: RNZI / Sally Round

Minister Nash said they were also concerned about methamphetamine coming into the Pacific from New Zealand.

"We need to stop meth coming into the Pacific. It's a coordinated approach and if we can work together then I know we would be very keen for this approach," he said.