SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: Jeanette Saxby – Methamphetamine and what a fool believes…


But what a fool believes, he sees

No wise man has the power to reason away

What seems to be,

Is always better than nothing

Than nothing at all…..

Lyrics from song , What a fool believes.

Doobie Brothers  1979



Mike Sabin was no such wise man but as a former Drugs Detective he was well-aware of creating believable circumstantial evidence.

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“In 2006 Mike Sabin took leave from the police to create MethCon Group Ltd a world first, and its aim was to provide employers, Government agenices, community organisations and members of the public with better education, policy and strategies to respond to New Zealand’s growing P problem.

The business quickly expanded from Northland across New Zealand with Methcon gaining recognition with a number of business awards, and Mike Himself was recognised with national leadership awards for his commitment in this area.”

While researching solutions to New Zealands Methamphetamine crisis Mike Travelled extensively into the United States and Europe and provided research and recommendations to the previous Government and the new National led Government, which have given this issue considerable priority”

From Pete George Dec 22, 2014


History of Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine was developed in Germany in 1887 and was very popular. In 1919 the Japanese invented a stronger and water-soluble version of Methamphetamine which made it a perfect drug for injecting as the hypodermic needle was still relatively new.

It was used heavily by troops in WW2 both to stay awake and for long flying missions. Hitler was rumoured to have a dependency on Methamphetamine which may explain his erratic behaviour.

In the 1950s it was regularly prescribed by doctors all around the world as a diet aid and for depression also. It was of course highly addictive.

In the 1970s the US Government made it illegal and its manufacture was then taken over by Motor cycle clubs and now Mexico provides most Methamphetamine to the USA.

Methamphetamine or P has been in New Zealand for over 20 years and its use is increasing  Not many families in New Zealand, won’t have a story to tell about the P use of a sister, mother, brother, daughter or cousin using P. I live in Paeroa , jokingly known as P town.


Back to METHCON MIKE ,  Well evidence would show, to any drug and alcohol clinician, his method was flawed and based largely on police practice/prejudice and not any patient centred rehabilitation model.

Mike Sabin advocated a zero- tolerance approach and stated the current focus on Harm minimisation needs to be abandoned and replaced harm elimination. This was loved by those in the National Government. See how bad ideas get compounded with even worse ideas…National Government who wanted to get tough on crime.

The New Zealand drug Foundation disagreed with Mr Sabin and stated that the USA is the last place to look for solutions.

Mike Sabin gave no supporting data or evidence but claimed his method, slashed P use in America by 25% in four years.  Sadly no data or study correlates with this and statistic show a growing Meth-problem across all states. It does point to where this rabid anti-P dialogue stems from and how it was completely without evidence or even reputable research. From 2007 to 2009 there was an increase of 254% in the number of clandestine methlabs discovered in the Southern states.


What I find really puzzling is the fact Northland has the greatest number of users of P in the whole country. And Northland was Mike Sabin’s the former MP for National seat. And yet Northland also has had the largest P seizures made by the police. One bust was half a ton 500kg of high quality imported Methamphetamine. All this would suggest P use has grown like an algal bloom in Northland.  Strange that this should be the result from ten years of Mike Sabin’s vigilance?

The headline P found in High levels in Whangarei wastewater since police and health officials gained data . NZ Herald 28 November 2017

So just was Mike Sabin doing? I suggest he started the biggest lie and misinformation campaign in New Zealand’s history, and had the financial backing and full support of the National Government.

I’ve long taken issue with Mike Sabin as I am qualified as Drug and Alcohol Clinician and put Patient or client needs first when discussing treatment. I haven’t found any education or qualification to suggest Mike has a degree or any tertiary education. As an activist and advocate for better funded drug and alcohol treatment I  have been on the receiving end of some nasty texts. This is what the then, MP wrote to me in 2010, When I said,

“I believe you are ignorant. Prohibition of cannabis is a failure and your views contradict the top police official and current Drug and Alcohol treatment practices. “

Mike Sabin replied with this,

There is no need to be insulting Jnette, the very fact you think drug use doesn’t create victims and cause harm to others (which has not a jot to do with enforcement and prohibition) satisfies my impression of the size of minds in this discussion.

I have a post Graduate qualification and am a clinician with 20 years experience. I have completed and published several papers on Cannabis use in New Zealand and completed a Literature review on The Public Health Message on Cannabis and also worked on a methadone programme as well as had some personal insight into drug use .

He continues on,

As I said, I think its best we agree to disagree. Come back to me when you have some solutions to the real harm caused by drug abuse rather than the idealogical self-centred standpoint of someone chuffing on a pipe or a joint in the comfort of their own home oblivious to the world around them.

I don’t care what anyone says, prevention will always be better than cure..

I’m aware of the views of the so called top cop and all the others who struggle to see the trees for forest, (wood for the trees, is the proper..saying )

I guess we shouldn’t stop at illegal drugs then should we? Prohibition of theft, child abuse and rape and burglary doesn’t seem to be working so maybe we should make those things legal and then they would stop happening…  I would like to see a world free of drug dependence and all it brings with it, you would like to be able to use drugs as it suits you. We are unlikely to have any common ground.

All the best

Kind regards

Mike Sabin

RE: Top Cops views on cannabis welcomed

24 August 2010 6.30 pm


This text I received from Mike Sabin speak volumes about his character.

 Mike Sabin, in my opinion, is a cheat and a bully and has been behind the creation of anti P hysteria and the industry of making money out of victims.  Not one person I know received any treatment, nor were any new treatment programmes for methamphetamine reduction being planned at that time. Mike Sabin left Parliament under a cloud of silence. He was investigated by the Police for assault in 2014 while being chair of the law and order portfolio in Parliament. Two weeks before he went to trial he was appointed to a new position as General manager of the Luxury Northland Resort known as Peppers.

Nice for those with CONnections.


Jeanette Saxby

B Ed , Post Grad dip Hth Sci

Addiction Clinician



  1. But mike sabin is a dim witted fellow with no common sense and a highly refined and erroneous sense of how wonderful he is. And because of that, he’ll not understand why people, such as yourself, have problems with his most spectacular-self. To him, he’s fabulous and a marvellous asset to any society, by ridding those societies of scum bags and dirt balls.
    Alarmingly, there’s no cure for the likes of him. We just have to give him a wide berth and make sure he and his ilk never, ever, get into positions of the power they’re corrupted by.

    • well put, and as a Far North resident during Sabin’s time as a copper and Methcon person–most accurate assessment of him, he used to refer to himself in the third person at meetings!–what a tool, a dangerous one for a time too unfortunately

      he would likely have been well locked up if his trial had been held in Auckland, as it was Sabin’s counsel, Arthur Fairley’s, tactic was to attack the young victims in court which the provincial jury seemed to lap up

  2. The combination of arrogance, ignorance and greed very much typifies many far right politicians.

    The whole tenor of Sabin’s correspondence here is not only unprofessional, it is full of sweeping non sequiturs which undermine his own credibility and sincerity, but he is probably too limited an individual to even begin to understand this.

    But to give credit where it is due, there is one woman in Parliament, known to be a vindictive poor-clobberer, who personally and craftily, did an effective job in working to convince NZ’ers that people at the bottom of the heap are the authors of their own misfortune and should be firmly jumped on wearing $700 shoes, before stomping off to continue loving Bill English’s brain.

    Ordinary folk can’t afford lawyers, but chances are an enterprising lawyer will mount a class action on behalf of the private property owners who believed this total tosh. At least one P-tester has publicly stated that they knew the standards were wrong.

    I suggest that Ardern is also morally wrong in saying private property owners shouldn’t receive compensation because no-one forced them to clean up their properties. They believed lies and they acted responsibly.

    • Still going strong, it seems:


      Methcon Group Limited launched in 2005 with the goal of delivering a more balanced approach towards raising awareness of the country’s methamphetamine (P) problem, together with substances such as cannabis and alcohol. The company is now award winning and recognised both nationally and internationally as a leading provider of alcohol and drug education.”

      Believe it or not!

  3. +100 – sad that there are so many fraudsters aka MethCON and people getting political currency, and making profits out of this misery.

  4. Thanks Jeanette. Now I am working for the meat workers union, I am gobsmacked at the extent of drug testing. Sabin and his mob convinced a whole industry that they had to drug test on the grounds of health and safety. Not to test for impairment, but to test for evidence of use. Its no wonder the industry is short of workers and lots of other industries in rural areas ; Zero tolerance means those who smoke weed recreationally will fail a urine test, even it was a week ago. Stupid thing is that meth doesn’t show up. One company even demanded a urine test from one of our organisers on the grounds the whole site was safety sensitive, including the office. I don’t know of any evidence of impairment and their impact on work accidents ; perhaps you do, but the reality is that most accidents in the meat workers are caused by poor manning levels, a system based on piece rates and workers not properly trained.

    • The next ‘con’ that needs to be sorted is workplace drug testing. I know of good folk deprived of their ‘living’ for the ethical belief that pissing in a bottle is both a demeaning act and tacit approval of policing thought crimes. Cognitive liberty is a prerequisite condition for self will and the mutual trust of free exchange of labour for lifes essentials.

  5. Pretty standard stuff from a Nat hack – why would you consider an evidence based approach to drug policy when there is money to be made from the misery caused by prohibition (especially by the two main offenders alcohol and tobacco)

  6. I can’t believe he called his company Meth-con!!! It’s the most honest company name I’ve ever seen.

    It’s like he gets a kick out of seeing what he can get away with – same as John Key

  7. Are any of these corrupt NAT Mps (ex also) ever going to be held to account? NZ is a frustratingly pathetic country when it comes to this, and our MSM doesn’t help matters. SOME ACCOUNTABILITY PLEASE, IT’S TAX PAYER MONEY THEY ARE/WERE USING!

  8. From your quotes I see a fairly civil debate between two passionate advocates looking at a problem from two very different perspectives.

    As a policeman Mr Sabin would see the destruction of families and communities and the crimes committed to fund a P addiction. His solution is to stamp on supply and use.

    As an Addiction Clinician you would see addicts as broken individuals needing health care to help them with their addictions. Your solution is to advocate for more addiction services.

    A balance between these two approaches is required for sure. The two approaches need to work together. Mr Sabin isn’t the enemy here. People selling P into our community still need to be targeted.

    • Johnpo2002 sees a debate where none existed.

      Nor was this exchange in any way civil.

      Johnpo2002 way not know that Sabin’s rudeness alone puts him beyond the bounds of civility.

      If the issue was P, then Sabin’s throwing in other assorted problems was classic Crosby/Textor cat-the-table tactics to divert attention from the issue, while making odious assumptions insulting to his critic.

      If these irrelevant assumptions were made deliberately to rile his opponent, then yes, he is a bully, and a ratbag as well. If he believed them himself, yes he is still a bully, but maybe a numskull rather than ratbag, or perhaps all three – his communication is all over the place.

      No-one in their right mind supports P, but Sabin made a lot of money from it’s use – he cashed in on other people’s misery when he had other choices – targeting the P makers, providing resources to help addicts, looking and then looking again at the prevalence of P in Northland, and then asking why is all this happening ? Most third formers could tell him.

      Mental health people- police – all health professionals – have been begging for adequate funding for years, so telling a clinician she should be advocating more addiction services is telling your grandmother to suck eggs.

      • Jeanette called him “ignorant”. Sabin called her smallminded. In the context of the debates I see on Twitter these days it seemed fairly civil. At least they were engaging with each other.

        I’m not trying to defend Mike Sabin. I just see two people working on the P scourge from different perspectives. Blaming each other for the problem gets us nowhere.

    • “Mr Sabin isn’t the enemy here.”

      He most certainly is.

      I can’t be bothered explaining to you why, just read the article again.

        • I mean on balance you, or who ever try to get as much reward in your favour. Anything less than 14% and it’s probably not worth doing because there’s always some one with higher returns on offer. ALWAYS. Just got to do a bit of research and grow a pair is all.

        • Policy that allows people to sell P is the enemy. Making profit from those selling P is the enemy, I could go on.

          But thank you for your investigation Jeanette Saxby.

          I have a new game/ book… “Where’s Mike Sabin”?

    • Johnpo2002 , I have little love for the drug of meth (or any other hard drug, for that matter). I’ve witnessed first hand what such a drug did to one of my close family members.

      But I also have no time for the mindless redneckery that surrounds drugs, nor the prohibition laws that make “P”, heroin, cocaine, etc, a very profitable enterprise for dealers and private companies “fighting” the scourge.

      Mr Sabin’s response to Ms Saxby suggested a lack of intelligent rigour with his logic – and more of an emotion-laden, knee-jerk reaction. The only thing missing was a plaintive “won’t someone think of the children” cry.

      How is the “war on drugs” working out?

      Very nicely, thank you very much. If you’re a dealer or a private testing company, it’s a lucrative industry.

      • Well, someone needs to “think of the children”. In particular, children of P-smoking mothers during the pregnancy. The human brain is the most complex and wonderful structure in the known universe; and it should be treated with respect. Many will know what P does to an adult brain; it was plausible to suppose that a developing fetal brain would be the more vulnerable. Such a conclusion is drawn from Trecia Wouldes’ study from Auckland*, “Prenatal methamphetamine exposure and neurodevelopmental outcomes in children from 1 to 3 years”. Anecdotally, I understand that teachers at least in the Waikato are recognising “P babies” in infant classes, due to their disruptive behaviour.

        A counsel of perfection, from the armchair: if pregnant, or potentially so, no cigs, alcohol, or meth. Cannabis less clearly an issue, but wisely to be avoided.

        Treat your children well.


  9. How ironic hi business is called Methcon, because that is what has happened to NZ. A con about dealing with meth. The war on drugs is a abject failure – until we grow up and go for solutions that put the patient first rather than bullshit revenge fantasies. Then we are domed to this issue repeating itself over and over.

    A classic example of this has been the HNZ fiasco, one has to ask the question – how much money did the likes of Methcon make out of this disaster?

  10. “Prohibition of theft, child abuse and rape and burglary doesn’t seem to be working so maybe we should make those things legal and then they would stop happening”

    If that’s his argument then he is bankrupt of ideas. It indicates to me a man of narrow ideas (except profitting from the illegal drugs trade in a roundabout way) and refusing to consider other viewpoints.

    The sad thing is that his redneckery would find favour with some of his unenlightened, ill-informed constituents. Thank god he is no longer a serving policeman.

  11. methcon wasn’t the only con we had 9 years of being conned and we have 44% who still voted for the con- artist they are better known as the national party

    • Who knows Greg, but the Commerce Commission could be interested in some of the practices where the testers and cleaners have admitted that they knew that the standards they were working to were wrong.

      So many people and groups got it so wrong, that it’s a very tangled web, and the Coalition Govt have to be congratulated that the nightmare a lot of harmless people, including children, were plunged into, is over.

      And that focus now being placed on proactively helping the addicts is another totally excellent outcome, and one wishes them all well.

  12. Dodgy. He probably appointed people to public bodies because he knew every way in which they were already constrained and compromised.

  13. “Two weeks before he went to trial he was appointed to a new position as General manager of the Luxury Northland Resort known as Peppers.”

    Am I missing something here. Mike Sabin is due to go on trial. He gets a nice little sinecure and the trial stops.
    Aren’t these two separate events? Why should his appointment stop his trial. Or as an option, who would employ a man who has a serious charge hanging over him. How can this happen?

    • It does indeed look like that where those who actively support the NZ National Party are given plum jobs despite all the damage they have done over the years.
      So it’s a case of not what you know but who you know.

    • Hey is that you Suzy?

      It me, Richie. I don’t know if you know me. We are both celeb influencers working to spread government propaganda but I’m not quite at your level!

      What do I need to do for the Police to get on DWTS? Ta!

      Love you you are so positive which is so great!

      Sometimes I get depressed.

  14. Oh Dear Mike.
    Personally I believe Education will work where Prohibition doesn’t.
    You show much ignorance of the real world, Mr Sabin. You should listen to people who are at the coal-face, such as the very knowledgeable Ms Saxby.

  15. If cannabis was decriminalised some of the millions of dollars that they spend on cannabis raids etc, could be spent on safe use of cannabis and research. The huge amount of money of remaining could be spent on good help for ‘P’ rehabilitation and prevention.

  16. Every time a social issue arises the cry goes up – “More education!”

    And there it hangs in mid-air.

    What are the moves behind this sad little cry? At which point in the arc will ‘people’ be educated?

    Clearly, from comments above, this is not a symptom of just Those People who are unemployed. It affects people with and without high education, employment, status. Who has the money for conducting this depth and breadth of campaign – and sustain it? And back it with the social services required? How would ‘education’ actually reach the people who ‘can’t afford’, don’t watch, fly below the middle range radar? Perhaps someone has the answers…

    As a person who rates extremely low on the chart for misuse of drugs I cannot understand the attraction. I wouldn’t even bother with no-doz.

    What is so alluring about this muck? How are people persuaded to try it, continue with it, succumb to it? And, if they wish to escape – what’s the overall, all-round ways to do so? To rebuild trust and connections, for example? To access programmes with enough capacity and resourcing over time to see them emerge reasonably proofed and intact?

    I agree with JOHNPO2002: ad hominem statements usually fail to win friends – although they definitely influence people… Despite the ire and indignation – more honey, less vinegar.

    • Evidently Cuba have just introduced a new law if any Cuban National or foreigner is caught with drugs no matter how large or small the quantity is, they will be sentenced to 42 years hard labour.

      I wonder whether that might discourage the Asian P Importers and the traditional P distribution gangs here in New Zealand.

  17. One of the core insights garnered from the first inquiry into cannabis and mental health (following the tragedy at Raurimu) concerned the role of education. However it was not MORE education, it was ENABLED education that was identified as a key driver to harm reduction/minimisation. Subsequent policy work also identified the requirement to remove the double standards separating licit and illicit drug consumption as they were ‘an identified impediment to credible drug education’.

    How MethCon (and others) got awards for its appalling public education endeavours was so much mutual back-slapping and as such, it set back progress on reform to the stone age.

    Regrettably, MethCon’s Sabin saw it as its dual mission the vilification of anyone who held contrarian views. When unsubstantiated claims were challenged by this writer (CHCH Town Hall) he resorted to the epithet ‘keep smoking the whacky baccy’.

    Who would have thought that would qualify him for such high station and political office as chair of the law and order committee…..

    The science is now evidencing that men who have had occasion to experience psychoactive drugs such as LSD etc… are 50% less likely to commit partner assault. Perhaps there was a ‘law and order’ message in that Mr Sabin.?

    • His unreasoned personal attack on you Blair, at a public meeting,is a commonly-used tactic of politicians nowadays, but I have never seen it done by a professionally qualified person.

      Stupid people who don’t realise how stupid they are, are very difficult to engage with constructively – or even to talk to – which could be why Key and his ilk put them in positions of responsibility where there were other agendas going on.

      State Housing is the obvious one, but this is a total shocker .

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