Meth house madness trashed people’s lives

The impact of the meth house scam on some people has been awful.

Stuff – Meth house myth: Why hundreds of safe homes were left empty in middle of a housing crisis

Rosemary Rudolph was in her late 80s when the Government told her she was going to die.

It wasn’t cancer, old age, or anything her doctor said at all. It came from a Housing New Zealand (HNZ) staffer, who said the place Rudolph called home for more than 60 years was poisoning her – she had to move out quick.

“They said I would die if I stayed there. I’ll tell you what, I’ve been dying ever since – I’m a shadow of what I once was,” Rudolph said.

One of Rudolph’s 16 grandchildren had smoked some methamphetamine on the property and HNZ had caught wind of this, she said, admitting she was “pretty naive”.

HNZ demanded the 87-year-old leave the property in Avondale, Auckland, so that it could be tested. They were also worried after her house had been fired upon by a suspected gang attacker. The tests came back positive – and that was it. She was out, moved to a far smaller unit right by a busy road.

“They said you have to move out, and because it’s not your fault, we’ll give you a little place somewhere.”

“I wasn’t allowed to bring my blankets or anything. I just walked out in the clothes that I had. The few that I had had to be washed three times … My possessions were taken away from me. People came off the street and ransacked the place.”

Rudolph said HNZ charged her $3000 for the testing. An HNZ spokesperson said the agency is “currently reviewing any costs associated with this matter”.

Not only was she kicked out, she was billed $3000 for meth testing!

That whole Stuff article is very good coverage of the scam.

RNZ: Man still repaying debt from unnecessary HNZ meth eviction

A man who received an apology from the housing minister for being evicted from his state house is still being forced to pay back the government for emergency accommodation.

Robert Eruiti was evicted from his Housing New Zealand (HNZ) home after testing for methamphetamine on surfaces in eight rooms revealed he was 0.09 over the 0.5 limit using a scientific method that has been since discredited.

Although it was not believed he was responsible for the contamination, because his name was on the tenancy agreement he was evicted.

His daughter Casey McCarry told Checkpoint her father was still being forced to pay back some of the $44,000 it cost to house him for over a year in emergency accommodation.

“We also believe that should be waived, that he should not have to pay that money,” she said.

“It still feels like yesterday my dad was evicted because it was such a stressful process for myself and my family.

“I’m very angry and disappointed.”

A lot of his furniture and belongings had to be thrown away as there was nowhere to store them.

There’s still a lot of questions to be answered and financial damaged repaired on this issue.

Also from RNZ: Housing NZ chair refuses to step down after meth revelations

Housing New Zealand’s (HNZ) chair Adrienne Young Cooper would not be interviewed but said she will not resign.

HNZ chief executive Andrew McKenzie also again refused to be interviewed.

A report this week from Sir Peter Gluckman found no real health risk to humans from living in a house where meth had previously only been smoked.

That meant hundreds of tenants were wrongly booted out of state houses and millions of dollars wasted on clean-ups.

Sir Peter said there had been an inexplicable leap in logic resulting in clean-up standards for meth labs being used as a measure for passive exposure.

It’s hard to understand how this ever happened.

It’s well known that methamphetamine is an insidious and widely used drug.

But what is the risk to second hand use? Like, getting a whiff when someone else is using it? I haven’t heard of any.

But the meth house scam was based on what is referred to as third hand use – the slight possibility someone will be exposed to traces of meth weeks or months after it was used. Even if there is exposure there has been no reports of any  adverse effects.

52 Comments

  1. lurcher1948

     /  June 2, 2018

    Paula Bennetts legacy,and the right think they a fit enough to run the country, they couldn’t run a sausage sizzle stand.

  2. Blazer

     /  June 2, 2018

    It suited the Govt at the times agenda.Methcon ,ex National minister Mike Sabins creation was very profitable.Just like inflating house prices=very profitable…for some.
    How the CEO of HNZ on $46,000 a MONTH gets away with refusing media interviews is …ludicrous.

    • PartisanZ

       /  June 2, 2018

      … “ludicrous” … ?

      Let’s not understate this: It is CRIMINAL!

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  June 2, 2018

    As usual the evil landlord turns out to be the State.

    • Gezza

       /  June 2, 2018

      You’ve got no probs with meth being smoked in your Guest House or the cabins, Al? Truly?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  June 2, 2018

        Of course, but the problem is with the behaviour, not the chemical.

        • Gezza

           /  June 2, 2018

          So you wouldn’t throw them out?

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  June 2, 2018

            Probably wouldn’t have had them in in the first place. Issue is the present and future, not the past.

            • Griff

               /  June 2, 2018

              You wouldn’t know.
              P is a drug that has users in every sector of society.
              From poor white trash all the way to boardrooms of large company’s.
              It is not the drug of choice for the poor as the cost is prohibitive.
              An addict can easily smoke 100 bucks worth in a day or two.
              Unless you steal, deal or prostitute yourself you could not afford a decent habit on the dole. Those I personally know who have wreaked their lives with it have all been working or have trust income from rich family’s.

              I had a flat mate who committed suicide due in part to his P habit. Ramon was a clean cut well spoken young man who was a good tradie with an excellent future ahead of him. His future stopped on the end of one of my heavy duty extension leads . Never got the lead back either.

              You can not tell who is a user by just looking or talking to them .

            • NOEL

               /  June 2, 2018

              910 suspended from applying for a taxpayer provided dwelling.
              Not the only one with that approach Al.

            • Kevin

               /  June 2, 2018

              According to the 2017 global drug survey 3.1 percent of kiwis used meth in 2016. That’s less than those who used cocaine, half that of those who used acid, and a fraction of those who used cannabis.

              According to the NZ Drug foundation the addiction rate for methamphetamine is around 22%. So in terms of addicts we’re talking around 22% of 3.1% of kiwis.

              I kind of thing the whole meth thing had been greatly exaggerated. Granted, given the nature of the survey the figures need to be taken with a grain of salt but you’d need a pretty big grain of salt to say that meth is taking over society.

              https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/92677551/global-drug-survey-2017-how-kiwis-are-using-drugs-and-booze

    • Gezza

       /  June 2, 2018

      My issue was the hypocrisy of your comment. Which point you’ve now confirmed. So thanks for that. 👍🏼

      Always a pleasure. ❤️

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  June 2, 2018

        Nothing hypocritical about not charging people megabucks for cleaning up a non- existent problem. Except apparently in your fantasies.

        • Gezza

           /  June 2, 2018

          Oh, was that what you were talking about? I thought you were talking about throwing them and not letting them rent. Hard to say when you just chuck in a typical over-the-top one-liner anti-State slogan without any detail. However I accept ypur apology in the spirit in which it was intended, so no worries.

          Gorgeous day outside in North Welly. Going outside again soon to soak it up. Pooks n sparrows all fed & all gone off to do the wild bird things nature designed them for. At least none of them smokes P.

    • PartisanZ

       /  June 2, 2018

      @Alan – “As usual the evil landlord turns out to be the State.”

      It’s as though some kind of App or Algerhythm writes your comments sometimes Alan …

      What would you do if, under National, you were the State and, for ideological and political purposes, you didn’t want to be a landlord?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  June 2, 2018

        I’d give people their money back.

        • Conspiratoor

           /  June 2, 2018

          The taxpayer gets reimbursed …a novel concept

        • PartisanZ

           /  June 2, 2018

          Doesn’t solve your problem though, does it?

          There’s a much bigger issue Alan: You, the State, want ‘OUT’ of State Housing completely.

          You want to sell your social housing stock and ‘privatize’ the social housing ‘sector’ – somehow – despite it may never be ‘profitable’ – to pay off your political cronies – in a nation with a proud tradition of social housing and a long-term, current and growing future need for social housing …

          Public opinion rebels against your attempts to redevelop large areas of State Housing … and especially to sell it off …

          So … maybe … at least some ‘credibility’ and ideological ‘progress’ can be gained by making some of this social housing stock ‘uninhabitable’ …

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  June 2, 2018

            I would be worried to find that a house had been used to make these drugs, with the chemicals involved.

            Nobody would use this as an excuse to sell off the houses, at the time they couldn’t have given them away. It would have been like selling a house full of asbestos.

            Asbestos is unlikely to harm people, but the few who are harmed are seriously harmed. I knew a man who died of it many decades after he worked with it as a university student. The people who were overcautious with P would have been vilified had they let people live in these houses at the time.

            It’s easy to be wise after the event.

  4. NOEL

     /  June 2, 2018

    “Although it was not believed he was responsible for the contamination, because his name was on the tenancy agreement he was evicted”
    What dies that mean? Was the property tested prior to occupation? Was someone else occupying the building responsible ?

    https://www.hnzc.co.nz/assets/Publications/OIAs-Official-Information-Act/August-2017/OIA-15-response-28-August-2017.pdf

    • NOEL

       /  June 2, 2018

      136 ninety day notices issued. Some were successful and retained occupancy, others didn’t challege(perhaps because they antucipated losing) and 29 were baliff evicted.
      Suggssts those looking out for our taxpayer provided dwellings is doing a fair job.

  5. Blazer

     /  June 2, 2018

    Braunias on the kind caring face of …Paula ‘pie op’ Bennett….
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12062725

    • Gezza

       /  June 2, 2018

      One of his best, I must say. 😀

  6. David

     /  June 2, 2018

    The US states have similar rules to what we had, our rules were determined by the tenancy tribunal and until they rule again the rules remain the same for landlords.
    National were terribly over cautious but they did convene a panel of scientists and the recommendations that came out of that differentiated between where it had been smoked and where it had been cooked which pretty much halted the crazy stripping of gib board, wiring etc.
    As an investor I wouldnt touch a house that could have had a meth smoker living there without it testing clean and I certainly wouldnt rent a house to someone with a positive meth test.
    I would like to see Gluckmans paper peer reviewed because he is the only scientist on earth to make these claims, he is definitely qualified though.

    • Griff

       /  June 2, 2018

      The report was written by .
      Dr Anne Bardsley
      http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/1912-2/

      Anne has a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA. In addition to laboratory research, she has over 18 years experience in research analysis and science communication, including to policy-makers and the general public. Prior to joining the PMCSA office, Anne was the Commissioning Editor for a number of international peer-reviewed scientific journals spanning multiple disciplines. In this role, she helped identify emerging lines of scientific enquiry and facilitated the quality assurance of publications through robust peer review.

      Anne has considerable expertise in knowledge assimilation and dissemination to multiple audiences.

      Report itself here.
      http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/Methamphetamine-contamination-in-residential-properties.pdf
      At the bottom you will find the list of peer reviewed papers used to base the report on.

      • Griff

         /  June 2, 2018

        I love it when a totally factual comment giving information gets a down tick .
        Shows that some are not interested in being informed instead rely on feelz.

        • Gezza

           /  June 2, 2018

          There’s wankers everywhere Griff.
          Maybe you just pissed someone off sometime & they can’t let it go?
          Happens to me.
          Might’ve been something you said? 🤔

          • Gezza

             /  June 2, 2018

            Poor Kitty hacked someone off so bad they keep coming back to downtick her again. Sad bastard.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  June 2, 2018

          I enjoy my downticks. They show I’ve annoyed the right people. I add them to the upticks for scoring purposes.

          • Gezza

             /  June 2, 2018

            Righto. Might give you a downtick later. 👍🏼

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 2, 2018

              Sorry, Alan, I couldn’t resist it.

            • Gezza

               /  June 2, 2018

              Now was good for me 😎
              1.27pm. Enjoy.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  June 2, 2018

              Excellent. All adds to the score.

        • PDB

           /  June 2, 2018

          Griff: “Shows that some are not interested in being informed instead rely on feelz.”

          I agree – for instance people that ‘feelz’ that Wellsford in not in Auckland City and tell people in that town wrong information should take a good look at themselves. I mean don’t they have google?

          • Griff

             /  June 2, 2018

            Yip
            I was wrong Wellsfords is within AK boundary
            The first gas station out of AK is just down the road in Kaiwaka.

            Now my butthurt little friend.
            Are you going to admit you are wrong about the temperature adjustments seeing how they reduce the warming and all?
            No.
            Didn’t think so…..

            Ps when you go all snowflake it makes me laugh less if you don’t tell me .

  7. Kevin

     /  June 2, 2018

    Prohibitionists always lie.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  June 2, 2018

      So do those who generalise.

      I would think that there would be very few who would want P to be legal.

      • Kevin

         /  June 2, 2018

        The big lie amongst Prohibitionist is that prohibition works.

        But anyway, the pharmaceutical version of methamphetamine is already legal provided you have a prescription. It’s called Adderall and is quite popular with US college kids.

        I don’t think the smokable form of meth will ever be legal. But in pill form, sold only at adult shops to persons over 21 and in moderate doses, why not? Better than the situation we have now.

        I’ve never tried meth and don’t ever intend to. First, it’s a dirty drug made by amateurs. Second, I don’t want to take something that rewards my brain merely for taking it. And third, spending a week or more paranoid and anxious doesn’t seem to me to be worth it, no matter how good the high. Whether it’s legal or not doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference to me.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  June 2, 2018

          You’d have to wonder what sort of doctor would prescribe it.

          The problem is that people won’t take moderate doses and I suspect will drink as well.

          • Griff

             /  June 2, 2018

            One of the effects of prohibition is to increase the potency of drugs
            During alcohol prohibition spirits overtook beer as the drink of choice. The same effect can be seen with modern high potency “skunk” cannabis or fentanyl causing problems in the USA a stronger opiate than Heroin . P is just a stronger form of amphetamine AKA “speed”.

            You probably know peploe who have used prescription Amphetamine like drugs.
            Diet pills and ADHD medication also belong to the same family of drugs .

    • Zedd

       /  June 2, 2018

      the pic of Paula sez it all (IMHO); Z.T.

      • Gezza

         /  June 2, 2018

        Christ! Never mind her – these:

        ,i>In October 2016, RNZ revealed the Health Ministry had repeatedly told HNZ it was misusing the guidelines.

        “The guidelines are very clear – that they are only for use in houses where methamphetamine has been manufactured. We have pointed out (to Housing New Zealand) and communicated that these guidelines are clearly for use in houses where meth has been manufactured,” the Health Ministry’s director, Doctor Stewart Jessamine, said.

        Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell said HNZ was causing enormous harm by deliberately misusing the standard – while the Greens said the housing agency’s conduct was deplorable.

        But HNZ didn’t listen, and fought back instead.

        and

        In early 2017, HNZ’s new chief executive Andrew McKenzie appeared at Parliament, defended the evictions and claimed the Health Ministry had never told his agency it was misusing the meth test.

        and now:

        HNZ’s chief executive Andrew McKenzie has refused to do any interviews on the matter.

        Chair of the housing agency Adrienne Young Cooper would not be interviewed but said she will not resign.

        Tenancy Tribunal’s principal adjudicator Melissa Poole has refused to be interviewed and will not answer questions about the Tribunal’s misuse of meth lab guidelines to award enormous costs against tenants.

        Should all be bloody gone by dinner time Monday! >:D

  8. PartisanZ

     /  June 2, 2018

    So, clearly we need to call it something more than the FIIRE economy … Because there’s a significant component of politics, government regulation and bureaucracy in our wonderful austere-welfare-neoliberalism …

    Maybe PFIIRE … Politics, Finance, Insurance, Immigration & Real Estate?

    Or maybe FIIRED … where D = Directorate?

    Meth Testing … almost like a new form of Govt Work Scheme … an Industry Creation Scheme … but rather than being FOR the poor it gets INFLICTED ON the poor …