- Publish Date
- Wednesday, 26 September 2018, 2:45PM
It's a question we're all keen to know and it's finally been revealed.
The weed capital of New Zealand has been revealed - and it's still Northland.
Northland is still the cannabis capital of New Zealand, according to a police report on a drug seek-and-destroy operation held earlier this year.
The Annual Cannabis Operation report shows that Operation Jess, which took place in Northland from mid-January to mid-March, destroyed 16,307 cannabis plants — more plants than found in any other New Zealand Police 2018 national drug eradication programme.
''During Operation Jess there were five concerns reported that led to referrals to Oranga Tamariki (formerly CYFS),'' Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Shane Pilmer said.
''You can't put a figure on the personal or long-term social costs.''
Operation Jess also resulted in several referrals to Te Ara Oranga, the fast-track system for methamphetamine addiction treatment which police and Northland District Health Board have pioneered.
Overall, the numbers of plants, other drug crime findings and charges were down on the 2017 drug eradication programme due to Operation Jess coinciding with the arrival of two ex-tropical cyclones which disrupted the surveillance involved in the operation.
The amount of contraband seized is pretty crazy, in fact, Northland police seized 6.9 kg of dried cannabis, 24.95g of meth, nine firearms, $11,675 in cash and $193,000 of stolen property, including a truck, trailer and digger, and stolen cars.
Twenty-seven warrants were issued prior to searches and 59 searches were carried out invoking the power of a warrant.
Several commercial-scale indoor cannabis-growing operations were uncovered, the biggest containing 293 plants at various stages of growth in a shed near Kaitaia.
While meth charges were laid, no laboratories were found.
''It was cannabis we were looking for in terms of the air operation but at the same time we made a few arrests targeting meth,'' Pilmer said.
''Normally we would stumble across one or two labs, but this time we didn't.
''When we came across meth, though, our police meth team followed up with families, referring them to various agencies they deal with.
''We took a two-pronged approach. One was detection, the other prevention.''
Pilmer said drugs were a huge part of policing in Northland because it was a major driver of crime, whether cannabis or methamphetamine.
''Meth is being driven by the gangs who control its manufacture and distribution.''
Watch out Northlanders - looks like you're probably most likely to be caught too! LOL