Northland police aren't ruling out continued use of helicopters to find cannabis — but say their main focus will be on methamphetamine and synthetic drugs.

Last week police announced an end to the nationwide aerial operations that used choppers or planes to find cannabis plantations and in some cases spray them with dye and herbicide.

The operations took place every year towards the end of summer, just before harvest.

Individual police districts, however, will still have access to funding for helicopter operations if they wish to continue.

The Far North's top cop, Inspector Riki Whiu, wouldn't rule out future use of helicopters for drug spotting, and said the change didn't mean an end to cannabis recovery operations.

However, police would focus on the most harmful drugs such as methamphetamine and synthetics.

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Northern Advocate: Meth, synthetics new focus for Northland police