The impact of COVID-19 on illicit drug trafficking in New Zealand.

Type of content
Theses / Dissertations
Publisher's DOI/URI
Thesis discipline
Criminal Justice
Degree name
Master of Criminal Justice
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Quinlivan, Alana

Illicit drug trafficking requires stable supply chains, which depend on social stability generally. In turn, the trafficking, supply, and harms associated with drug consumption can quickly change alongside disruptions to everyday functioning and subsequent illicit drug markets. COVID-19 is a global pandemic that has put a strain on all aspects of life both in New Zealand and internationally, provoking government interventions to close borders and restrict social interactions worldwide. These changes have caused unprecedented disruptions to social, economic, and political functioning throughout society. Therefore, the stability required to operate efficient illicit drug supply chains has collapsed, making an impact on global and local illicit drug trafficking as a result.

Using a comprehensive analysis of many different sources this dissertation outlines the impacts of COVID-19 on international drug trafficking, dealing, manufacture and consumption, before providing a comparison to a New Zealand national context. Basing its conclusions on both qualitative and quantitative data, this dissertation argues that illicit drug markets were heavily disrupted shortly after the implementation of COVID-19 related restrictions, however such markets and groups were identified as adaptable, with many already beginning to recover.

Ngā upoko tukutuku/Māori subject headings
ANZSRC fields of research
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