For some, Upper Clutha is a holiday destination that conjures nostalgia. For others, it is home. A melting pot of farmers, wealthy, retired, young and emerging families. Some living near lakes in million-dollar homes. Others stewarding the land regardless of the season. Some coming for a few months, others life-long locals. But is that the full story?

In April, The News reported on a series of assault cases that occurred during New Year celebrations in Wanaka. After the release, more people came forward with their own stories about what really happens in the community.

Drugs. Online bullying. Assault. Despite our tranquil location, we are not removed from these complex topics. Rather than pretending they do not exist, in this five-month-long project, Behind the Facade, The News investigates the threads and facts about what is happening in our community. Throughout this investigation, we will ask the hard questions about these grey areas, seeking to gain clarity about what safety within our community really looks like, and what role and responsibility we each have.

This month The News looks at the drug scene:

Safety the key with recreational drugs

Wastewater testing dirty job, but yields data

‘Aotearoa is a drug using country’

Who are drug users within our community?