26 Sep 2009

Major cannabis-growing busts in two NI regions

6:55 pm on 26 September 2009

The police say one of New Zealand's biggest cannabis-growing regions has been hit hard in the latest drug raids.

More than 50 people have been arrested on drugs charges in nine centres in the North Island during two separate police operations this week.

The police say raids in Northland have made a dent in the growing and dealing operation that supplies 40% of the country's cannabis.

A Northland police spokesperson, Sarah Kennett, says the operation in places including Kaitaia, Kaikohe, and Whangarei was a big success.

Ms Kennett says the police seized more than 1,000 cannabis packages, seeds and plants as well as three bags of methamphetamine and $4,000 in cash.

Almost 60 people face charges as a result of the raids.

In Hawke's Bay, 26 people will face charges relating to the possession and sale of methamphetamine and cannabis after police searches of properties in Hastings and Napier on Friday found 100 cannabis plants under cultivation, along with a small amount of methamphetamine.

The police say more arrests are likely.