• Landlords won’t get compensation for following meth standards – Twyford

    Landlords hoping that they might get compensation for unnecessary meth decontamination work are out of luck.

    A government report released yesterday, which was produced by the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor Sir Peter Gluckman, showed that there is no evidence third-hand exposure to methamphetamine caused adverse health effects.

    Gluckman suggested the contamination level should be set as high as 15 micrograms per 100 square centimetres, 10 times over the current recommended level.

    As a result, Housing New Zealand will now set their uninhabitability level at 15mg/100cm2 after cleaning, which will save them $30 million a year in remediation and testing. The old Ministry of Health Guideline was 0.5mg/100cm2.

    Despite landlords all over New Zealand spending a lot of unnecessary money decontaminating houses, Housing Minister Phil Twyford said they won’t get any compensation.

    “I haven’t given any thought to compensation and I don’t intend to,” Twyford told the AM Show.

    “The standard that was set last year is not a mandatory thing. It’s a good practice guideline. And everybody – landlords, tenants, make their own business decisions based on the best available information.

    “I can understand why people are upset about this, and angry, and feel they’ve been let down. It is unfair. But we are sorting this out so that in the future moving forward this disaster wont’ happen again.”

    Drug Foundations’ Ross Bell called meth testing the “biggest scam New Zealand has ever seen” and said the National Government failed to see the whole problem was overblown.

    Reports have suggested hundreds of millions have been spent on testing and cleaning meth contaminated houses over the past five years.

    Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ, says all parties need immediate guidance on what the best practice should be going forward.

    “The report states that ‘there is a clear need for more research’. We welcome that further research in order to have a definitive understanding of what is considered to be a safe level of methamphetamine contamination in a residential home,” Norwell said.

    New regulations are now set to be established under the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill No 2, which is awaiting its Second Reading.