© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2019

High levels of MDMA and meth found in Christchurch wastewater

Lucy Thomson

Christchurch has higher levels of MDMA and methamphetamine than Auckland, a study of the city's wastewater shows.

The concentration of MDMA and methamphetamine is surprisingly high in Christchurch's wastewater.

On average, each week in December, 731 grams of methamphetamine and 261 grams of MDMA were found in the city's wastewater. In Auckland the levels were similar for meth but at 111 grams of MDMA.

In January and February, Auckland "beat" Christchurch only in methamphetamine levels in January.

 

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The testing took place in Auckland's Rosedale Treatment Plant and the Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant. Rosedale services 220,000 people, while the Christchurch plant services 165,000 households.

New Zealand Police assistant commissioner Bill Searle said due to the small amount of data it was difficult to make a meaningful analysis.

The information was key to helping the government consider how it would respond to the needs identified.