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Tribunal’s methamphetamine ruling sends strong message

MEDIA RELEASE

17 May 2016

Tribunal’s methamphetamine ruling sends strong message

Housing New Zealand will seek to retrieve remediation costs of nearly $20,000 from a former Christchurch tenant who contaminated their property through the use of methamphetamine (P).

A Tenancy Tribunal ruling has ordered the former tenant to pay $19,481 after contaminating her Christchurch state house.

“We welcome this decision and we will not be taking a backward step in addressing this issue. This latest ruling send a strong message to all of our tenants – Housing New Zealand will not tolerate criminal activity in its homes and we will move swiftly to end tenancies where it occurs,” says Chief Operating Officer, Paul Commons.

“This most recent ruling – the third in as many months - also helps ensure that the financial burden for remediation work does not fall to the taxpayer and we are being more vigilant than ever around retrieving costs from ‘offending’ tenants.”

The organisation will also call in other agencies, such as the NZ Police and Child, Youth and Family, to ensure the safety of dependant children exposed to meth contamination.

Mr Commons adds that another impact of contamination is the length of time vulnerable people on the social housing register have to wait for a home to undergo the cleaning and remediation process. In serious situations, they can wait for up to three months.

Over the last few years, Housing New Zealand has placed greater focus on identifying homes where P may be used, or may have been used in the past (rather than manufactured).

“As a responsible landlord, our policy is to not knowingly permit tenants to live in a property that registers readings above Ministry of Health levels. This supports our commitment to providing a healthy environment for our tenants.

 

“As a social landlord and an employer, the wellbeing of staff, tenants and their neighbours is our highest priority and we have robust health and safety controls in place for situations when methamphetamine contamination is suspected at one of our properties.”

He adds, “The social, health and wellbeing, and environmental impacts of meth are extensive, but it’s important to understand that this is not only a Housing New Zealand problem. It is an issue facing societies all around the world – this harmful drug is used by people of all ages, backgrounds and social standing.”

Ends

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