Meth house dangers debunked

I find it hard to understand how expensive meth house clean up practices were used for so long when science suggests most of the mayhem was not backed by science.

There has been questions asked about the over reaction to possible contamination of houses in much meth had been used (as opposed to manufactured), and the length of time it has taken to analyse the science.

The National Government made a big deal about science and data backed decisions, but really seem to have botched this one. They say they were working on a new standard, but that took too long.

In October 2016: 558 state houses left empty based on dodgy P testing

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett needs to explain whether the 558 state houses the Government has left vacant due to methamphetamine residue are in fact contaminated in light of revelations Housing NZ has messed up the testing procedures, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“In the middle of a housing crisis when families are living in cars it would be negligent of the Government to leave hundreds of homes empty if it turns out there is no residue that poses any risk to the health of tenants.

“Paula Bennett needs to front up. It is sheer arrogance for her to hide from the taxpayers who not only pay her salary but also coughed up the $22 million she has wasted against Ministry of Health advice.

“After months of warnings by scientists and now Ministry of Health officials, Housing NZ still haven’t owned up to their mistakes and acknowledged that they have wasted $22 million in taxpayer’s money.

“Housing NZ have evicted tenants on the basis of dodgy testing procedures that do not distinguish between methamphetamine contamination caused by state houses being used as P labs and meth consumption which leaves no dangerous residue in the houses.

“If those 558 houses are not contaminated, and do not pose a health risk to the tenants then there are hundreds of Kiwi families desperate for an affordable rental home that sure could use them,” says Phil Twyford.

Last December: Twyford slams ‘moral panic’ on meth testing state houses

Housing Minister Phil Twyford isn’t ruling out compensation for Housing New Zealand tenants judged to have been wrongly evicted because traces of methamphetamine were detected in their home.

He said the Government priority was to sort out a testing standard and set clear guidelines to give landlords in the private and public sector some certainty.

“There has been a moral panic around this whole issue that I think was a result of the vacuum in political leadership under the former government.”

He also said drug detection companies were partly to blame for the “moral panic”.

Twyford said about 900 state houses had been vacated in the midst of a housing crisis because of a meth contamination standard that could not adequately tell if a property posed a risk, or if there was an infinitesimally small residue that posed no risk at all.

He believed most of those houses would be found to be perfectly safe.

He had asked officials for advice on whether the current standard or threshold for contamination was set at the right level.

In December Twyford  commissioned the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor Professor Sir Peter Gluckman to assess all the available scientific and medical literature about the risks of exposure to meth residue. A report was released this week.


Report into meth contaminated homes released

A new report into methamphetamine smoking residue on household surfaces has found there is no evidence third-hand exposure causes adverse health effects, Minister of Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford says.

“In December 2017 I commissioned Sir Peter to assess all the available scientific and medical literature about the risks of exposure to meth residue,” Phil Twyford says.

“There has been a widely held perception that the presence of even low levels of meth residue in a house poses a health risk to occupants. As a result, remediation to eliminate contamination has been an extremely costly business for landlords and an upheaval for tenants being evicted at short notice.

“No one is underplaying the social damage caused by meth, but there should be a scientific basis for what are acceptable levels of meth in the current New Zealand context; and remediation of houses should be proportional to the established health risks.

“The report is a comprehensive, up-to-date and plain English understanding about the risks of meth exposure for people living in houses where meth was manufactured, and for those in which meth was smoked,” Phil Twyford says.

Sir Peter’s report found that remediation according to the NZS 8510: 2017 standard is appropriate only for identified former meth labs and properties where heavy meth use has been determined.

Along with NZS 8510: 2017, it will contribute to any regulations that may be made under the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No 2), soon to have its second reading in the House.

“I expect, pending Cabinet agreement, that there will be a public consultation document on meth regulations later this year,” Phil Twyford says.

The report can be found at: http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/Methamphetamine-contamination-in-residential-properties.pdf


Ross Bell of the New Zealand Drug Foundation writes: Meth myth was allowed to go on for too long

As we let the scale of the problem sink in, it’s useful to cast an eye back to understand how things got so out of hand, and why lacklustre efforts to rein in the industry came to nothing.

This whole sorry saga could have been cut off at the pass at many junctures. Guidelines for the remediation of properties used as a laboratory for the manufacture of methamphetamine were released by the Ministry of Health in 2010. They contain nothing whatsoever about the dangers of third-hand exposure in dwellings where methamphetamine has been smoked.

The burgeoning clean-up industry seized on the guidelines to promote its services and raised the spectre of widespread “contamination”. The ministry was silent on this misappropriation of the guidelines. Having not been put right, the industry stole a march.

As reports surfaced that Housing NZ tenants were being evicted after the presence of methamphetamine was detected in their rental homes, the agency stood its ground. Any illegal behaviour would not be tolerated. When asked about this, Bill English, Housing New Zealand Minister at the time, and Housing Minister Paula Bennett both endorsed the hard-line approach.

By early 2016 the dubious practices of testing companies and astronomical figures for remediation were being called into question. Horror stories abounded. In the face of public concern, Building Minister Nick Smith accepted the need for tighter rules for testing businesses. Standards NZ embarked on a review of existing guidelines. With a committee stacked with industry representatives and a limited remit, it was no surprise the resulting standards were barely different from the existing ones.

The decision by Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi to review the process is welcome.

But how did they get the science so wrong?

A number of independent scientists, and even the Fair Go team, made efforts to debunk the myths perpetuated by the industry. When scientists pushed back with facts at hand, they were portrayed merely as a competing voice.

The ministers at the time failed to give due weight to the science, and their decisions seemed to be clouded by the interests of industry. Calls for regulations fell on deaf ears. This happened at a time when the government proudly launched its own drug policy in 2015 founded on the principles of compassion, innovation and proportion.

As the dust settles on this, it’s impossible not to reflect on how things could have been very different if scientific rigour free from the vested interests of commercial operations had been injected much sooner. How much distress could have been avoided? And countless millions saved? From this point forward it’s vital that evidence guides the way we address complex drug-policy issues.

Successive governments have been guilty of ignoring science and facts on a range of drug issues, and have failed to keep up with international trends.

So Twyford deserves credit for ordering the report and debunking the ridiculous and expensive over-reaction meth house clean-ups.

The Labour led Government has been criticised for how many reports and inquiries and working groups they have set up, but this report on meth houses was justified, and has resulted in reasonably prompt remedial action.

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103 Comments

  1. Paula Bennett: HNZ too cautious on meth testing

    Paula Bennett says Housing New Zealand should apologise to tenants kicked out over meth contamination, despite welcoming the agency’s zero-tolerance stance when she was social housing minister.

    Ms Bennett was the relevant minister between 2014 and 2016, when hundreds of tenants were evicted from state houses after traces of methamphetamine were found, sometimes at levels now known to constitute no risk.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018647193/paula-bennett-hnz-too-cautious-on-meth-testing

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  May 31, 2018

      Pass the buck Paula.She just reeks of insincerity.More and more coming to light as to what a tragic ,clusterfuck the last Govt really…was.’didn’t have the..data’!

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  May 31, 2018

        To be fair – and I’m no fan – she’s not a chemist or a toxicologist and it was widely known how volatile these chemicals were. I wonder why Gluckman didn’t come to the rescue then and why he has decided to now?

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  May 31, 2018

          Oct 2016…(it suited the Nats state housing policy/sell off…)

          Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett needs to explain whether the 558 state houses the Government has left vacant due to methamphetamine residue are in fact contaminated in light of revelations Housing NZ has messed up the testing procedures, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

          “In the middle of a housing crisis when families are living in cars it would be negligent of the Government to leave hundreds of homes empty if it turns out there is no residue that poses any risk to the health of tenants.

          “For a Minister who has been so eager to talk up the problem of P contamination in state housing, Paula Bennett has been strangely quiet about this fiasco.

          “Paula Bennett needs to front up. It is sheer arrogance for her to hide from the taxpayers who not only pay her salary but also coughed up the $22 million she has wasted against Ministry of Health advice.

          “After months of warnings by scientists and now Ministry of Health officials, Housing NZ still haven’t owned up to their mistakes and acknowledged that they have wasted $22 million in taxpayer’s money.

          “Housing NZ have evicted tenants on the basis of dodgy testing procedures that do not distinguish between methamphetamine contamination caused by state houses being used as P labs and meth consumption which leaves no dangerous residue in the houses.’

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  May 31, 2018

            Yes but remember you’re like Netanyahoo is with Pallies when it comes to Bennett or any National former Minister & Twyford’s hardly an unbiased commenter & he’s a known bullshit artist.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  May 31, 2018

              NO THESE ARE ..FACTS-‘Housing New Zealand evicted 700 families from tenancies using Meth tests that didn’t differentiate between a full scale meth lab or a minor contamination where Methamphetamine had been smoked at the premise.’

              the defence that Bennett is not a chemist or toxoligist is ludicrous…Bennett is an ex truck stop service worker with a degree,who had power.
              She was minister responsible for many portfolio’s,and even admitted she knew nothing about some…go figure.

            • Blazer

               /  May 31, 2018

              well Steven Joyce was Minister in charge of M.B.I.E and their concerns were similar to…Twyford’s.
              Btw…who believes foreign buyers make up 3% of property purchasers,besides Key and…co!

            • Gezza

               /  May 31, 2018

              Btw…who believes foreign buyers make up 3% of property purchasers,besides Key and…co!
              No idea. Haven’t been interested enuf to look into it. Good to see it made slightly harder for overseas buyers. Still remember Twyford’s idiotic Chinese surnames stunt though. I think he’s a tosser – but I hope I’m wrong & he gets someone to make some progress made on building affordable houses other than the ones started under National.

          • Blazer

             /  May 31, 2018

            ‘Last year Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett started selling off State Housing in wealthier suburbs forcing out vulnerable tenants. Housing New Zealand blamed meth contamination attempting to criminalise tenants claiming the houses were meth labs.

            Housing New Zealand evicted 700 families from tenancies using Meth tests that didn’t differentiate between a full scale meth lab or a minor contamination where Methamphetamine had been smoked at the premise.’

            National found meth contamination…convenient…that’s the…reality.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  May 31, 2018

              No, that’s your biased opinion.

            • Zedd

               /  May 31, 2018

              Good points Blazer
              If you want to sell off state houses, whats the best way to reduce tenancy & clear the way; evict them over ILLEGAL DRUG USE issues !!
              That will get the support of the Red-necks & prohibitionists (Natl supporters.. most) 😦

      • Gezza

         /  May 31, 2018

        Ok I had a listen to Campbell, the tiresome prig, & Bennett gave a good account of herself, the advice she received, her concerns raised when she heard about disquiet that there was conflicting information and that P residue was not as harmful as was being claimed. I have no doubt that officials in Housing Corp and whoever else’s advice they were relying on eg maybe Health Dept were insistent that they (The Department) needed to err on the side of caution and that is why THEY were evicting tenants in some cases. Case closed.

        I still want to know why Sir Peter Gluckman has come out with this pronouncement now when he must also have been aware of this issue when he was Key’s & English chief science adviser. Maybe the buck passing is there!

        Reply
    • NOEL

       /  May 31, 2018

      I didn’t know meth user were so fastidious leaving no crystals in the carpet of taxpayer owned houses.

      Reply
  2. David

     /  May 31, 2018

    Not sure I would want to live in a house where someone was smoking the stuff also there is no way of knowing if someone had cooked there or just smoked there seeing as you can literally cook it in in the kitchen sink.

    What’s In Meth
    Acetone. Nail polish remover or paint thinner. Extremely flammable. …
    Lithium. Used in batteries. Lithium seriously burns the skin upon contact. …
    Toluene. Used in brake fluid. …
    Hydrochloric. Acid. …
    Pseudoephedrine. Decongestant found in cold medicine. …
    Red. Phosphorus. …
    Sodium. Hydroxide. …
    Sulfuric. Acid.
    More items…

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 31, 2018

      Well, no. There is no way sodium hydroxide and sulphuric acid co-exist, let alone are present in conjunction with others in that list. Maybe these chemicals are used in production but that doesn’t mean they are present in the product and certainly not all of them. They are too reactive.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  May 31, 2018

        If they were present separately in production do they give off toxic fumes and can those be absorbed I guess is the concern.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  May 31, 2018

          Do you mean during production or in the product? Vastly different situations.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  May 31, 2018

            Well, when you said “Maybe these chemicals are used in production …” – what did you mean – because I mean what you meant.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 31, 2018

              During production they may be used, some as solvents others as reactants. Until you know what else is in with them you won’t know what fumes might be given off but it is unlikely any would be so toxic as to remain a hazard in the rooms long after the event.

              For example lithium salts are a smaller cousin of sodium and potassium salts which are essential to your bodily functions. They are used as medication for bipolar disorder. To say lithium is dangerous ignores context.

              Likewise red phosphorus is highly reactive and will quickly convert to inert phosphate compounds.

              Risks during production are a completely different level and kind to risks during consumption. Likewise the residual effects of each on locations they were conducted.

            • Gezza

               /  May 31, 2018

              Yep. That’s pretty much what I mean then. Thanks Al. 🙂

  3. Griff

     /  May 31, 2018

    The moral panic survived during the national years due to Conservative insistence that all drugs are bad…
    National allowed this rort ripping poor suckers off for years because it suited their war on drugs world view..any way we can beat down drugs takes precedence over actual reality.
    I hope effected owners sue the bastards who have been running the scams. into bankruptcy.
    People have been sucked into re gibing new carpets etc when the toxic effects were less than from the untreated chip board floors in most standard new homes .

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  May 31, 2018

      There were I think about 3 of them on the 1ewes item – one of them saying Gluckman was wrong, that research around the world showed these toxins were highly dangerous, contrasted with Gluckman actually stating earlier in the item no research anywhere in the world showed this! >:D

      Reply
      • Griff

         /  May 31, 2018

        Any one not blinded by anti drug propaganda should have been able to work it out for them self’s.
        To get a buzz from a home that has not been used to cook the shite you would need to lick the wails of the entire house.
        This meth test and clean scam should never have been allowed to continue. It only did because conservative factions within national used it to attack state home occupants.
        It has cost this country over 100 million is lost rent and clean up costs not counting the poor landlords, tenets and home owners who have been ripped .
        Looking at you Collins and Bennett.
        https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/watch-judith-collins-says-national-government-took-correct-approach-meth-in-houses-despite-new-study-showing-low-risk-harm-contamination

        Reply
        • Callum

           /  May 31, 2018

          How do you tell a property was only used for smoking not manufacture?

          Reply
        • Gezza

           /  May 31, 2018

          To get a buzz from a home that has not been used to cook the shite you would need to lick the wails of the entire house
          Whereabouts (just the town or province will do) was the house whose walls you licked to prove this to yourself, out of interest? o_O

          Reply
          • Griff

             /  May 31, 2018

            Hello Gezza
            Us modern peploe use a thing called google to find out
            stuff.
            .

            Polishing your bone carving to divine information does not cut it this century.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  May 31, 2018

              Crikey! You tested that bone polishing out too? 😮

              Gotta hand it to you Griff. You certainly are one of the most thorough peploe I’ve come across.

      • NOEL

         /  May 31, 2018

        No Gluckman is relying on his research analyst. Any one know if her report was put up for peer review?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  May 31, 2018

          Contact
          General enquiries

          Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor
          Email: info@pmcsa.org.nz
          Mailing address: PO Box 108-117, Symonds Street, Auckland 1150, New Zealand
          Physical address: 85 Park Road, Grafton, Auckland 1023, New Zealand
          Phone: +64 9 923 6318

          Reply
        • Gezza

           /  May 31, 2018

          I’d be inclined to go with whatever Sir Alan thinks on this one (for a change), NOEL.

          Pretty sure, while he’s got a Masters in Harassing Lefties, his PhD was in Chemistry.

          Reply
      • Blazer

         /  May 31, 2018

        so where are the citations backing up those saying…Gluckman..is wrong!

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  May 31, 2018

          Well, exactly. They were all in the decontamination racket & if they take appeals to Court my money’s on them doing their dough for no good result.

          Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 31, 2018

      The Standards Institute needs a rocket up it and has done for a long time.

      Reply
  4. Corky

     /  May 31, 2018

    Great news. I’m going to have a stress free holiday. Well, unfortunately, no. Our property manager has told us to continue with the present P contamination process because of possible legal ramifications down the track, and Gluckman’s findings being challenged.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  May 31, 2018

      Fear not. It’s not Gluckman’s findings. Gluckman says he has reviewed all the research & this is their findings.

      His challengers will be concerned about every cent of their ill-gotten gains being ripped away from them in litigation (they couldn’t even all agree on what contamination levels were in houses and several gave vastly different readings).

      The will sadly all just have to sell their mansions and yachts and Hummers.

      Just sack the property manager, Corks. And maybe hire a private eye to check into whether he or she has any rellies or friends or business colleagues up to their eyeballs in the P decontamination racket. You might be able to squeeze some dough out of them too.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  May 31, 2018

        I think I will be more circumspect given Gluckman’s report is at odds with some overseas findings.

        While the industry has cowboys and no doubt will suffer financially because of Gluckman’s report, our property manager and fellow investor, my aunt, has nothing to gain. She had taken independent advice. Hopefully a definitive ruling will come soon.

        That said I always though some of these decontamination processes were over the top. We hope to find out if the house we purchased was a P Lab. If not we’ll give it a minimum P/com clean. That way we have acted ethically and morally.

        As for a private eyes. Very expensive. They charge way too much for providing a detailed report to present for possible police prosecution. I’m still saving.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  May 31, 2018

          Fair enuf. Aunties are good people to stay on side with. 👍🏼

          Reply
        • David

           /  May 31, 2018

          It’s the tenancy tribunal that is the problem, they had one case that was below the then low official standards but ruled the landlord had to give the tenant back all the rent but also had to contribute to the tenant getting new furniture.

          Reply
    • Blazer

       /  May 31, 2018

      who will challenge Gluckman’s findings?-those doing P tests!

      Reply
  5. Callum

     /  May 31, 2018

    No way to tell if the results from the testing are from use or manufacturing. A number of landlords got taken to the the tenancy tribunal for not telling their tenants it was possible they were in a meth house and plenty of stories of mysterious rashes etc. Gluckman has simply reviewed other studies that as yet show no impact from a house meth was smoked in.
    The government could have been quicker on establishing a safe level for a house where meth is smoked but I refer to my first sentence. The approach of kicking out state tenants (or any tenants) for positive results (presuming clear result before they moved in) is not an issue. You shouldn’t be smoking that stuff in someone else’s property. That is before you even get into the risks to kids in the house at the time or being able to waste money on drugs when you are getting taxpayer subsidies.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  May 31, 2018

      National standards were produced and National MP’s accepted their findings – yes the standards were seemingly ‘worst possible outcome’ but it is ironic that National is being blamed for taking a cautious approach to health and safety when the science is still unclear as to harm done by living in such houses.

      No evidence it does cause issues but HNZ couldn’t really take that risk when on the other hand no clear evidence exists that it’s safe either. Not to mention the MSM at the time pimping stories of effects people were having living in a meth house.

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 31, 2018

      No way to tell if the results from the testing are from use or manufacturing.

      Then the tests are inadequate. There absolutely should be and the level of contamination should be a clear indicator.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  May 31, 2018

        Horse has bolted with saddlebags stuffed with….money.

        Reply
      • David

         /  May 31, 2018

        Problem Alan is the chemicals break down quite quickly so one could have had a lab from 7 months ago or someone having a puff last week giving similar levels

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  May 31, 2018

          If the tests are comprehensive as to risks then the distinction will not matter.

          Reply
  6. Grimm

     /  May 31, 2018

    Makes you wonder how many other government policies are driven by hysteria, group think, politicking and money.

    No prize for guessing the most obvious.

    Reply
    • Griff

       /  May 31, 2018

      No prize for guessing you are a conservative who as already mentioned are not interested in reality instead have feelz that make you reject science that conflicts with your world view.

      Reply
      • Grimm

         /  May 31, 2018

        Be interested in your position on GMO’s?

        Reply
        • Griff

           /  May 31, 2018

          As with any subject I try to base my opinion on evidence not feelz…
          The royal society for science on GMO.
          https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/projects/gm-plants/

          We both know that was not what you were referring to.
          EH.

          Reply
          • Grimm

             /  May 31, 2018

            “No prize for guessing you are a conservative who as already mentioned are not interested in reality”

            Except that all of your judgements about people on this page are based on your “feelz”.

            And when asked for your opinion on a scientific issue you go to Google and deflect from the question. The answer to which would reflect your own “feelz”.

            Reply
            • Griff

               /  May 31, 2018

              Hello
              You are a conservative my friend.
              As are many of the other right wing commentators who reject mainstream science because they feelz.
              Some like Alan try to deny being a conservative.
              But let themselves down to often to be taken seriously .
              My judgement is based on plenty of evidence.
              https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/3f3a/d951efb5618f5b793f160714014645166e35.pdf
              http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0075637

              And when asked for your opinion on a scientific issue you go to Google and deflect from the question.

              No I did not .
              I referred to the royal society on GMO’s
              Obviously to any one with functioning brain cells my views on GMO’s are congregant with theirs.

              In your smeged up world you thought could call me out on GMO because you think I am a “lefty” or green and hence reject GMO’s.
              Hate to tell you.. I am right wing on some issues I just reject the” hysteria, group think, and politicking ” influenced by money that many take part in.

              You dont know the difference between reality and ideology .

            • Grimm

               /  May 31, 2018

              “let themselves down to often to be taken seriously”

              “any one with functioning brain cells”

              “In your smeged up world”

              “You dont know the difference between reality and ideology”

              Did I miss any? Not much logical reasoning in there.

            • Griff

               /  May 31, 2018

              ROFL
              Logic meet Grimm
              He needs to meet you…………..

              Tone policing (also tone trolling, tone argument and tone fallacy) is an ad hominem and antidebate appeal based on genetic fallacy. It attempts to detract from the validity of a statement by attacking the tone in which it was presented rather than the message itself.
              Tone policing – Wikipedia

              If you dont like me pointing out what a illogical person you are dont be illogical.

              Because its another piece of Psychological projection I often encounter from conservatives.
              Poor wee Snowflake.

      • Grimm

         /  May 31, 2018

        Your view on “science” is entirely predictable and political. Your enthusiastic use of derogatory political terms to describe anyone that disagrees with your world view is a dead giveaway.

        Reply
        • Griff

           /  May 31, 2018

          ROFL.
          Your insinuation above was a dog whistle about AGW.
          Ever major scientific body on the planet supports the theory.
          Climate change is not political….. rejection of the scientific theory is .

          Conservative derogatory ?
          Well yes if you want it to be……
          Personally I have engaged with that many conservatives over the last decade who repeat illogical garbage that a six year old kid would find idiotic it is probably an insult coming from me.

          Reply
          • Grimm

             /  May 31, 2018

            Your position on climate change is entirely political. Otherwise you would know that not every scientific body or scientist in the world supports AGW “theory”. Far from it. It’s also why you need to constantly use slurs to to describe those that disagree. You know that it has become a left/right political issue, not a scientific one.

            Reply
            • Griff

               /  May 31, 2018

              The following is a partial scientific organizations that hold the position that Climate Change has been caused by human action:

              Academia Chilena de Ciencias, Chile
              Academia das Ciencias de Lisboa, Portugal
              Academia de Ciencias de la República Dominicana
              Academia de Ciencias Físicas, Matemáticas y Naturales de Venezuela
              Academia de Ciencias Medicas, Fisicas y Naturales de Guatemala
              Academia Mexicana de Ciencias,Mexico
              Academia Nacional de Ciencias de Bolivia
              Academia Nacional de Ciencias del Peru
              Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
              Académie des Sciences, France
              Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada
              Academy of Athens
              Academy of Science of Mozambique
              Academy of Science of South Africa
              Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS)
              Academy of Sciences Malaysia
              Academy of Sciences of Moldova
              Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
              Academy of Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran
              Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, Egypt
              Academy of the Royal Society of New Zealand
              Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy
              Africa Centre for Climate and Earth Systems Science
              African Academy of Sciences
              Albanian Academy of Sciences
              Amazon Environmental Research Institute
              American Academy of Pediatrics
              American Anthropological Association
              American Association for the Advancement of Science
              American Association of State Climatologists (AASC)
              American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians
              American Astronomical Society
              American Chemical Society
              American College of Preventive Medicine
              American Fisheries Society
              American Geophysical Union
              American Institute of Biological Sciences
              American Institute of Physics
              American Meteorological Society
              American Physical Society
              American Public Health Association
              American Quaternary Association
              American Society for Microbiology
              American Society of Agronomy
              American Society of Civil Engineers
              American Society of Plant Biologists
              American Statistical Association
              Association of Ecosystem Research Centers
              Australian Academy of Science
              Australian Bureau of Meteorology
              Australian Coral Reef Society
              Australian Institute of Marine Science
              Australian Institute of Physics
              Australian Marine Sciences Association
              Australian Medical Association
              Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
              Bangladesh Academy of Sciences
              Botanical Society of America
              Brazilian Academy of Sciences
              British Antarctic Survey
              Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
              California Academy of Sciences
              Cameroon Academy of Sciences
              Canadian Association of Physicists
              Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences
              Canadian Geophysical Union
              Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
              Canadian Society of Soil Science
              Canadian Society of Zoologists
              Caribbean Academy of Sciences views
              Center for International Forestry Research
              Chinese Academy of Sciences
              Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences
              Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) (Australia)
              Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
              Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences
              Crop Science Society of America
              Cuban Academy of Sciences
              Delegation of the Finnish Academies of Science and Letters
              Ecological Society of America
              Ecological Society of Australia
              Environmental Protection Agency
              European Academy of Sciences and Arts
              European Federation of Geologists
              European Geosciences Union
              European Physical Society
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      • Gezza

         /  May 31, 2018

        Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  May 31, 2018

      Isn’t “hysteria, group think and money” a definition of politics …?

      Reply
  7. Blazer

     /  May 31, 2018

    there’s money in it….
    In March 2014, Joanne Kearney, Team Leader for Consumer Issues at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), told the Dominion Post she was concerned about the rapid growth in the number of companies claiming to test dwellings for meth residues and the potential for abuse that represented: “The problem is undetectable to the homeowner, and it is also highly emotive and involves the potential for harm.”

    “At MBIE, we were in the same branch as Tenancy Services, and I saw some of the examples where tenants were being thrown out or taken to the Tribunal over houses that had tested positive for meth,” says Kearney, who has since left the ministry.

    “And I saw landlords, the Property Investors Association, a whole bunch of people getting really concerned about this – and I started to wonder what was going on with the testing. It was private companies doing the testing, and I wondered how you could check whether they’d done the test properly and whether they were reliable and then about the downstream results. People would end up being thrown out of their accommodation or told they had to destroy all their goods.

    “That rang the alarm bells you see in some types of scams. There’s an imbalance of information. The homeowner or the tenant knows very little about the science behind this testing or what’s going on.”

    The 2014 Dominion Post story was only about dwellings contaminated through being used as clandestine meth labs – which pose known health risks – but already, as the testing industry flourished, positive tests were being registered at houses that had never been labs.

    –––

    On the same day as the Christchurch development story broke, Newshub reported claims by an “industry expert”, David Kilburn, that meth-infected dwellings could be “the next ‘leaky homes’ crisis”. Kilburn said meth contamination was potentially a “billion dollar problem” and scorned Ministry of Health estimates that 50 houses were contaminated annually as a gross underestimate.

    Kilburn is the general manager of Hamilton-based Envirocheck, which offers both testing and remediation services. (Although the Ministry of Health guidelines say that “professionals undertaking assessment and testing must operate independently of commercial decontamination (clean-up) companies”, they have no force, and it is relatively common for testing and clean-up companies to operate under the same roof or to be linked to each other.)

    Envirocheck has earned itself a string of news stories, including one in 2013 in which company owner Todd Sheppard told the Waikato Times that 80 percent of New Zealand houses had “some level of P contamination”.

    Envirocheck’s website still warns that “Even smoking outside will still contaminate the house because the vapours will follow you inside and residues will contaminate your clothes, which will cross-contaminate everything they touch inside the home.”

    Another testing company owner, MethSolutions’ Miles Stratford, told the Waikato Times there were “high dangers of health risks” in properties where only meth use had occurred.

    After the Christchurch story, a number of “experts” from commercial testing companies were quoted in news stories, making alarming claims about the meth problem. Some tenants of meth-tested properties reported mysterious health effects.

    Kearney says that the kind of effects reported “are often triggered by health scares – respiratory complaints, headaches, aching limbs. Those things can be triggered by being told that you’re at risk. Humans are immensely suggestible.”

    Reply
    • NOEL

       /  May 31, 2018

      “At MBIE, we were in the same branch as Tenancy Services, and I saw some of the examples where tenants were being thrown out or taken to the Tribunal over houses that had tested positive for meth.
      It’s a Class A drug. The tenancy agreement the occupier signed was breached as soon as they bought it into the taxpayer provided dwelling.

      Reply
  8. Blazer

     /  May 31, 2018

    MSav @TS….
    It is clear from this Radio New Zealand post that the Government must have realised its tough on methamphetamine stance was based on a faulty understanding. On November 3, 2016 Radio New Zealand reported:

    Housing New Zealand Minister Bill English is backtracking on his announcement of a review into meth evictions to determine whether the housing agency had been acting fairly.

    The housing agency has been heavily criticised for using Ministry of Health meth test guidelines, which were only valid in former meth labs, to evict tenants for personal use.

    Earlier today, Mr English told reporters that his agency would now review all of its meth evictions to see if it had acted fairly.

    “Just going back over cases to make sure that they’ve been fairly treated,” he said.

    “Now that [the Ministry of] Health have come up with another standard, Housing New Zealand are applying that, and they’re just checking through to make sure that whatever cases they’ve dealt with in the past were dealt with fairly.”

    But Mr English later said he was confused, and there was a review of the houses left empty from meth contamination – not the evictions themselves.

    Back then National must have known about the problem. Why else would English announce a review of meth evictions, or even a review of empty houses?

    And why the backtrack? Presumably he was rolled by the rest of cabinet on his desire to actually ensure justice for housing corp tenants.’

    Reply
  9. PartisanZ

     /  May 31, 2018

    ‘Regulation Industries’ should be identified as a separate sector of the economy …

    This will legitimize their ‘creation’ as an acceptable entrepreneurial activity … a viable ‘start up’ business … nicely straddling the corporate-NGO-Charitocracy divide …

    Profitability … For the common good.

    Let’s face it folks … Glen Innes/Tamaki had to be ‘cleared’ of those people … *dark sarc*

    Isn’t that where John Key ‘grew up’ …?

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  May 31, 2018

      Profitability … for the common good … funded by government, private charity AND user-pays!

      The ultimate neoliberal ‘business’ …

      Reply
  10. Blazer

     /  May 31, 2018

    substitute meth policy for alcohol…

    ‘Prime Minister John Key is refusing to say whether or not he is seeking advice from his chief science adviser Professor Sir Peter Gluckman on alcohol law reform.

    Last week Alcohol Action NZ’s Professor Doug Sellman accused Mr Key of sounding like a spokesman for the alcohol industry when he dismissed the idea of a minimum-pricing regime for alcohol. The idea is one of a range of measures aimed at combating alcohol harm coming before Parliament later this month.

    Prof Sellman said Mr Key should be getting advice from Sir Peter, not his chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson, a former public relations man for local drinks giant DB.

    Sir Peter was appointed as the PM’s first chief science adviser in 2009, with Mr Key saying it delivered on the goal of “including science at the heart of our decision-making”.

    Mr Key’s staff refused to respond to questions about Prof Sellman’s comments, despite repeated requests by NZ Newswire.’

    Reply
  11. Alan Wilkinson

     /  May 31, 2018

    As I noted a few days ago, if you want to find wasted empty houses you’ll have to look at the those the taxpayer owns, not the Chinese.

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  May 31, 2018

      You mean the mostly older and in many cases past use-by date housing stock Alan, providing accommodation for New Zeal Land’s lowest socio-economic ‘class’, including a large portion of the ‘dependent’ population …?

      So maybe – More of the houses are being renovated at any one time? Or being demolished and re-developed? The turnover of tenants is greater than in the private sector? The likelihood of neglect and damage is greater due to neglected and damaged tenants?

      Plus – the orchestrated ‘property market’ [Boom = Star Economy] has made it less desirable if not next-to-impossible to either build or justify building ‘affordable’ social housing …

      Reply
    • Pickled Possum

       /  May 31, 2018

      Al, I was in Auckland a few weeks ago and a friend brought a million dollar house surrounded by empty houses all owned by Chinese people, who on occasion stay when visiting but they are all empty 90% of the time. Interestingly enuff they are all state homes sold on for one reason or another. Taxpayers homes sold off to Chinese who have them for A@B or just banking for the lotto win .. or the highest price.
      The million dollar house in Auckland would be worth $190.00 in Moerewa.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  May 31, 2018

        All those sold off million dollar houses must have paid for a lot of new state homes then, Possum.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  May 31, 2018

          How does anyone know who owns these houses ?

          Reply
          • Pickled Possum

             /  May 31, 2018

            Do you know who lives next to your house Miss? Of course, you do.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 1, 2018

              Well, no, because one is rented.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 1, 2018

              Sorry, I misread that. I know who lives there, of course, on both sides.

        • Pickled Possum

           /  May 31, 2018

          No Al it WAS an ex-state house that was sold to a private buyer and then sold it on after many years to my friend for a Million dollars. No new state homes built out of that sale.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  May 31, 2018

            Were all of them sold off a long time ago then?

            Reply
  12. Zedd

     /  May 31, 2018

    This just REEKS of a meth/p equiv. of Reefer madness.. hysterical, nonsensical panic..even at the mention of it. Its called ZERO-Tolerance.
    Maybe they should have spent a portion of the $100mil (decontamination cost so far) on actual SCIENCE, rather than resorting to Fear-mongering & IRRATIONAL PANIC !
    A news report said that mould is more harmful & Tobacco residue is likely as harmful; to a baby licking floors, walls etc. This isnt even on the radar.. ‘its legal & many dont even see it was a DRUG’

    methinks Paula & others (eg Sabin.. meth-test co.) have a lot to answer for; drug tests & replacing carpets/wall linings etc. & evicting tenants for the tiniest trace found.. perhaps from other peoples use ?

    Says it all.. Natl are still almost zero-tolerance on Cannabis too.. Why is this so ? Follow the money folks: its called ‘corruption’ ?? 😦 😦

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  May 31, 2018

      So … what are you saying exactly? Are you suggesting Paula Bennett and/or others in the Key or English National administrations were getting kickbacks, bribes or other inducements from the P-decontamination industry to deliberately & intentionally allow evictions & unnecessary destruction of properties & people’s household effects to continue?

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  May 31, 2018

        @gezza

        more that they either jumped on the populist bandwagon.. perhaps without making sure there was any evidence OR that some folks may have PUSHED this agenda & others politically ‘aligned’ (names you mention) just went along with it.. without any further questions ? :/

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  May 31, 2018

          Politicians request & get official advice from their departments’ head office policymakers via Chief Executives or Executive Managers, Zedd. They rely on their advisors to give them properly-researched advice and risk management assessments.

          It’s 11 years since I worked in a government department with many divisions, but I can assure you back then the quality of analysis supplied & the range of technical expertise behind it ranged from good to mind-numbingly, woefully inaedquate. Sometimes that could just be the result of panicked officials being told to have advice on the Minister’s desk “by Monday morning”.

          We had few actual experts in bloody anything other than “managing relationships”, & producing rules, papers, and online blurbs about whatever it was.

          The quality & amount of advice Managers sought from outside, in my last department, was very limited – because senior managers didn’t understand complex issues & just wanted everything bullet pointed & simple, so they could choose from a couple of options & “rubber stamp” a recommended one up to the Minister.

          This sounds like that sort of situation to me. Cock-up, not conspiracy. Collusion between government departments & private industry at senior exec level in my opinion is highly unlikely.

          Reply
          • Zedd

             /  May 31, 2018

            I watched an interview with Gluckman (The Project TV3,, for those who may think I make it all up) he said under the previous Govt. it was just not on the agenda (to use science in this matter) he was given other issues to deal with.
            BUT when the media announce that some MPs or folks associated with them have their fingers in this Drug testing OR the ‘decontamination’ business etc. It appears that there was some ‘dodgy business’ going on too… I doubt, that many of these ‘power brokers’ were unaware of it ?!

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  May 31, 2018

              I didn’t have any issues with it until parupaiarehe posted a few very good, critical comments about it & I went looking for the Fair Go item on it last year. That told me the matter was disputable. I stopped watching Fair Go a few years back because it had become trivial & boring & I didn’t like the presenters.

              Ministers, especially those with complex & multiple portfolios are flat to the floor busy most of the time. The job’s not a picnic contrary to the popular perception of many know-alls. I wouldn’t take their jobs on. They have to rely on their public servants to investigate & provide them with quality advice. They can reject that advice, but their decisions to do so are discoverable under the OIA, even if they protract the process.

              Who are the ‘power brokers’ you are speaking of?

  13. PartisanZ

     /  May 31, 2018

    @Zedd – “methinks Paula & others (eg Sabin … meth-test co.) have a lot to answer for; drug tests & replacing carpets/wall linings etc. & evicting tenants for the tiniest trace found.. perhaps from other peoples use?

    One day there’ll be a Court of some kind whereby the people can hold politicians to account for ‘corruption’ such as this …

    Maybe it’ll eventually be a Marae Ture/Legislative Assembly whereby crap like this never gets through an enhanced, participatory democratic evo-system? It has no chance to become ‘law’ or regulation …?

    Perhaps there’ll also be some kind of Court of Ethics whereby ‘perpetrators’ of shit like this can be ‘shamed’ …?

    Reply
    • Zedd

       /  May 31, 2018

      Isnt it interesting that many Natl supporters ‘wanted blood’ over Metiria ‘cheating on benefits’ (20 years ago) but talk as if this is ‘not an issue’:

      Maybe Paula & Co. should be ‘hung, drawn & quartered’ over this ? >$100mil WASTED !

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  May 31, 2018

        National and their supporters do not believe in transparency,integrity….and ACCOUNTABILITY….find a fall guy…kick the can down the ..road,or look the other..way.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  May 31, 2018

          They all do that. Clark’s administration was good at that too.

          Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  May 31, 2018

        Whoever was responsible should be identified and shamed. If it was politicians or their supposedly expert advisers should be investigated independently.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  May 31, 2018

          Who do you think should do the investigation?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  May 31, 2018

            Good question. Needs authority, access and independence. I don’t know the answer for this kind of issue, do you?

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  May 31, 2018

              Auditor General’s Office.
              Otherwise SFO or Royal Commission.
              If you want a whitewash that blames & sacks no one, a departmental investigation would be the best option.
              If you want a whitewash that exonerates a CEO and the politicians but finds one or two low-hanging fruit to hang out and dry, SSC would be my go to for that. It will cost more money when they successfully sue & get a public apology later though.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 31, 2018

              It’s too small for a Royal Commission. The bureaucracy will not hold politicians to account. The SFO isn’t the right outfit to investigate incompetence. I think we’re stuffed on this.

            • Gezza

               /  May 31, 2018

              Yep. Just one of those things. Nobody with any expertise was engaged early on to even review the literature, obviously.

        • PartisanZ

           /  May 31, 2018

          Problem is that in all likelihood its a kind of corporate-capitalist-political ‘nebulous, unspoken, unrecorded conspiracy’ – regulators, developers, building industry corporates, government, treasury, advisors and lobbyists – and this sort of thing never gets exposed, identified, shamed or compensated by corporate-capitalist-political inquiries or investigations …

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  May 31, 2018

            Do you know Alex Jones of Infowars, PZ? You should check him out if you haven’t already. That sounds very much like his view of things.

            Reply
            • PartisanZ

               /  May 31, 2018

              I’ll look at it Gezza, thanks …

            • phantom snowflake

               /  May 31, 2018

            • PartisanZ

               /  June 1, 2018

              If that’s Alex Jones … I retract … I won’t look at him …

              A false lead from Gezza huh? Mmmmm …. (plotting ‘reciprication’) …

            • phantom snowflake

               /  June 1, 2018

              No, that’s Gezza lol

            • Gezza

               /  June 1, 2018

              @PZ

              No that’s not a false lead from me – that IS Alex Jones, of Infowars.com.

              And there are times when I read what you write & it coincides with some of the things he comes out with, and the way he says it.

  1. Meth house dangers debunked — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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