Police stumble on P lab

Police got a surprise when they unintentionally discovered a clandestine methamphetamine lab on a Te Atatu Peninsula property.

Detective Corey Brown says police were called just before midnight on Saturday to a domestic dispute on Matipo Rd.

Officers who attended the initial incident noticed something wasn't right, he said.

"Alarm bells starting ringing when smells and sights didn't match up."

Upon inspecting the property, police found a P lab operating in the garage behind the house along with several occupants inside.

Brown said the lab didn't appear well-established and appeared to be "quite a secretive sort of set-up".

Emergency services were called to help with the decontamination of the occupants - a common action taken by St John when a methamphetamine operation is discovered.

However, Brown said due to the size of the "clan lab" police are satisfied no neighbouring properties were at risk.

He does have advice for residents on how to be aware if drugs are being made in their neighbourhood.

"The best advice I can give to people is often just the smell - a chemical type of smell - is often a giveaway, especially in a residential area."

A neighbour who has lived on Matipo Rd for 18 years understands the property was a rental.

The resident, who did not want to be named, said her husband woke up in the early hours of Sunday morning to see police, fire engines and ambulances at the scene.

One man has been arrested and charged in relation to the clan lab and remains in custody.

Western Leader