Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Strong justification to rein in meth testing industry

Strong justification to rein in methamphetamine testing industry

The announcement today that Minister of Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford will introduce regulations reining in the methamphetamine testing industry is very welcome.

“We are pleased Phil Twyford is taking on board this new advice from Sir Peter Gluckman and pledging to immediately do something about the out-of-control methamphetamine testing industry,” NZ Drug Foundation Executive Director Ross Bell said.

“The panic around exposure to third-hand methamphetamine has grown out of all proportion to the actual risks, as this report shows. This report lays out a strong case for regulations that will safeguard the health of New Zealanders.”

The Drug Foundation has long been critical of both the standard of testing and what constitutes a safe level of exposure when methamphetamine has been consumed in a property.

“The message that testing is only warranted in very few cases needs to reach every kiwi homeowner, landlord, tenant and social housing provider. When this report sinks in, we can expect to see demand for testing to drop right away.”

“For the industry that remains, accreditation of testers is such an obvious way to ensure reliable and accurate test results. When you take this together with a reset of the levels, we should see the panic around methamphetamine exposure die down,” Mr Bell said.

“Some of the testing methods also attract critical scrutiny. The report singles out compound screening practises as the source of misleading results. An update of regulations needs to require much needed scientific rigour across the entire industry.”

Based on the report by Sir Peter Gluckman, Primse Minister's Cheif Science Advisor “Methamphetamine contamination in residential properties: Exposures, risk levels, and interpretation of standards”, a reset of standards is essential. The report states “There is currently no evidence that methamphetamine levels typically resulting from third-hand exposure to smoking residues on household surfaces can elicit an adverse health effect.”

“Since this shameless testing industry took hold Housing NZ alone has spent $100 million over four years for testing and remediation, evicted countless tenants and had properties sitting vacant,” Mr Bell said.

“This has caused unnecessary distress to tens of thousands of tenants in public and private housing, and led to a scandalous waste of money. We never understood why the previous government allowed this situation to get so out of hand.”

As well as evicting tenants, the Tenancy Tribunal awarded costs against some very vulnerable people for ‘contaminating’ their rental home. With the basis of ‘contamination’ now being shown to be bogus, this calls into question the validity of the Tribunal findings. The Drug Foundation is calling for financial relief for tenants unfairly penalised by an eviction or remedial costs.

“The government is in the invidious situation of having to clean up this methamphetamine testing mess after it was allowed to grow under the previous administration,” Mr Bell said.
“For any New Zealander that’s been impacted by runaway meth testing, you can feel justified being outraged.”

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joseph Cederwall: Ten reasons to have hope for a better Media in the future

Last week, I wrote about the news crisis in 2018 and why there is hope for journalism despite of (or perhaps because of) this dire situation. This piece will explore what exactly gives us hope at Scoop and will outline some tangible projects and approaches to dealing with this crisis that Scoop is looking to explore in the coming months - years. From tech innovations such as the blockchain, AI and VR, to increased collaboration between newsrooms and new community ownership models, there is plenty of reason for hope.

So, here are ten reasons to have hope for a better media in 2018 and beyond: More>>

 

The Nation Transcript: Housing Minister Phil Twyford

Auckland Council has just announced plans to count the number of homeless in the city, around six weeks after the government said it would create an extra 1500 social housing places by the end of winter ... More>>

ALSO:

Cap Lifted: Government To Reduce Reliance On Consultants

The Government will reduce the reliance on expensive consultants and contractors, saving taxpayers many millions of dollars a year, State Services Minister Chris Hipkins said today. More>>

ALSO:

MBIE/IR Strike:

Gordon Campbell: On The EU Trade Talks With NZ

In the very unlikely event that all will be smooth sailing in negotiating access to Europe for agricultural products from this part of the world, the EU/NZ negotiations could be wrapped up in about two years – which is relatively fast when it comes to these kind of deals. At best then, we won’t see any concrete benefits until half way through the next term of government. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity Settlement: Affects 5000 Mental Health Support Workers

Health Minister Dr David Clark is pleased to announce an estimated 5,000 mental health and addiction support workers will soon receive the same pay rates as care and support workers. More>>

ALSO:

World Refugee Day: What 7 Former Refugee Kids Love About New Zealand

RASNZ asked 7 members of their specialist youth service (along with two staff members who work with refugee background youth) how they felt about New Zealand – and filmed the responses. More>>

ALSO:

DHBs: Nurses Plan Strike Action For Next Month

Nurses across the country have confirmed a notice of a 24-hour strike, starting on 5 July. District Health Boards (DHB) were working on contingency plans following a notice to strike by the New Zealand Nurses Organisation. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages