Two men have been arrested after a two-week joint police and customs operation, which saw 49kgs of methamphetamine with a street value of $50m seized in Christchurch.
Police say it is the largest seizure of methamphetamine in the South Island.
The drugs arrived into Christchurch in an airfreight consignment sent from Mexico on November 1, concealed in a shipment of safety lights.
There were 40 separate packages of around 1 to 1.2kg each, which has yet to be further forensically examined to determine the exact weight of the product.
Police say the seizure has prevented $60.71 million of additional community harm.
Search warrants were executed at a number of addresses in Christchurch and in Auckland.
Two Christchurch men have been arrested and appeared in Christchurch District Court on Wednesday facing charges of importing a Class A drug, and possession of methamphetamine for supply.
They have both been remanded in custody to reappear in Christchurch on November 20.
Detective Inspector Corrie Parnell said if the drugs had made it onto the street they would have caused “significant harm” not just in Canterbury but across the country.
“Methamphetamine is a destructive drug that wrecks lives, breaks down whanau and negatively impacts on our community.
It takes enforcement and a whole-of-Government approach, along with education to reduce demand and victimisation caused by this drug.”
Detective Inspector Parnell says drug use is a driver of numerous other crimes.
“Unfortunately the demand for illegal drugs is fed by those who are addicted, and interventions are required in order to help these people limit the harm they are causing to themselves and others.”
Alongside bringing offenders to account with investigations and prosecutions, Police are working with partner agencies to provide rehabilitation for those with drug addictions.