Patrick Gower’s new documentary takes a look at New Zealand’s ‘P’ problem
We have to face our problem with ‘P’, the drug methamphetamine. It doesn’t matter where you are, it destroys lives.
I believe this is one of New Zealand’s biggest social issues and that is why it is the subject of my latest documentary – Patrick Gower: On P.
In this documentary, I examine both sides of the law, from Mexican cartels to Kiwi cops, to paint a picture of the $ 500 million Kiwi meth market and the havoc it wreaks.
Here are 10 things you should know about “P”
- ‘P’ is easier to obtain than weed in New Zealand now. I spent two years investigating the drug underworld and found this everywhere I went. “P” is cheaper than ever and dealers can get it to addicts in minutes. That’s the case in Westport or West Auckland, in every town and city, and that’s why I’m doing this documentary. Unfortunately, “P” has taken over New Zealand.
* “Pretty brutal”: Patrick Gower of Newshub undergoes emergency eye surgery for retinal detachment
* The detail: rethinking society’s attitude towards methamphetamine
* Methamphetamine on the verge of overtaking cannabis as the biggest drug burden on our justice system
- There are a lot more “P” users than you might think, with 138,000 kiwi regular users according to a study. Most of us will be logged into a “P” user in one way or another – you might not realize it.
- The effects of “P” are incredibly powerful – 10 times the “hit” of other fun things that give us natural momentum. The problem is, users never feel the same again, no matter how much ‘P’ they use.
- ‘P’ is super addicting. Even after making the turkey cold, studies show that users are vulnerable to relapses for up to 14 months. And with ‘P’ so widely available, and a lack of drug treatment, this obviously makes it very difficult to do without.
- New Zealand is the best market in the world for the “P”. We have so many desperate users that the international drug unions are getting the best price for the drug here. In fact, a Mexican cartel calls us the “gold nugget”. We are an important target because they can make a lot of money here.
- We can test the use of “P” in our wastewater. This is how scientists know how much we use – and it’s more than any other drug (cannabis and alcohol are untested).
- Gangs and the 501s oversize the market. We have more gang members than ever in New Zealand. We also have the 501 deportees, who are ruthless and have international criminal ties. ‘P’ is being pushed harder than ever.
- Customs stop large shipments every day. We went to the airport and watched customs find a huge load of “P’s” in one morning, hidden in a package. It also happens in criminal ships or in sea containers.
- Methamphetamine was legal in New Zealand. It was a diet pill, called methedrine, used here in the 1960s.
- The domestic “kitchen” of methamphetamine is on the rise again. Covid-19 border restrictions mean importing methamphetamine has been tricky, so there has been an increase in domestic manufacturing, meaning homes have been ruined by the chemicals.
Patrick Gower: On P, Three, screened Tuesday June 15 at 8:30 p.m.