Otago, and much of the South Island, continues to be supplied
with illicit drugs by North Island dealers, Southern police
There have been no clandestine drug laboratories discovered
in the Southern police district since 2011, when one was
found in Southland.
''At present, methamphetamine tends to be coming into
Southern [police district] and the South Island in general
via Auckland-based suppliers,'' Detective Senior Sergeant
Malcolm Inglis, of the Southern organised crime squad, said.
Clandestine labs were typically used to manufacture
methamphetamine, also known as P in reference to key
The last P lab found by police in Dunedin was in 2009, and it
was the only such operation identified in the Southern police
district that year.
Since 2004, Southern police have identified 11 clandestine
drug labs, nine of which have been in residential properties
and two in hotels or motels.
Eight have been in Otago, and four in Dunedin.
Just three were in Southland.
There was a peak in 2007 when four labs were discovered; one
in Dunedin, one in Southland and two in rural Otago.
Det Snr Sgt Inglis said historically there had been a very
low level of clandestine lab activity in the area.
''Most clan lab activity in New Zealand occurs in the upper
But it was possible illicit drugs were being manufactured in
Otago and Southland, he said.
''While there have been no labs dismantled in Southern in
2012 and 2013, it does not mean they are not operating. For
those wanting to manufacture methamphetamine, locations in
rural areas reduce the risk of detection,'' he said.
Between 2000 and 2012, 1809 P labs were discovered throughout
The police districts with the most were - in descending order
- Waitemata, Counties Manukau, Waikato, Auckland, Bay of
Plenty and Northland.
Canterbury ranked about midway and the Southern and Tasman
districts were at the bottom of the list.
Police said P labs often looked no more sinister than a
collection of glassware and containers.
They could be carried in an overnight bag, were very mobile,
and had been found in car boots, motel rooms, homes and
Anyone who came across equipment or material they thought
might be involved in the manufacture of drugs was urged to
contact police immediately without touching any of the
''Do not touch any part of the lab; do not even turn off or
on electricity or water connected to any apparatus and do not
turn off any fans. Evacuate the immediate area, as safety is
paramount,'' police said.
Southern P labs
• 11 labs discovered by police in Otago and Southland since
• Last discovery in Southland in 2011.
• The most discovered in a single year was 4 in 2007.
• Last discovered in Dunedin in 2009.
• 8 labs were established in residential properties.
• 2 were in hotels or motels.
• 4 of the labs were in Dunedin, 4 in rural Otago and 3 in