Housing New Zealand is sharpening its national focus on managing methamphetamine (meth) as this harmful drug continues to impact New Zealanders.
“The issue of meth and its damaging impact to property is one that every landlord is grappling with right now. Also, the use and abuse of this highly illegal drug is harming the wellbeing and health of our families, children and communities,” says Manager Chemical Programmes Charlie Mitchell.
Housing New Zealand’s zero tolerance approach to illegal activity on its properties includes drug use of any kind. The organisation is sending a strong message to those tenants who may be participating in – or allowing – illegal activity in state homes.
“While the issue of meth is high-profile right now, we have never tolerated illegal activity in homes. Our tenants are well aware of this – it is not a new policy. To ensure we are fair to all tenants, we cannot make exceptions to this policy around meth use and ‘cooking’,” he says.
As part of this increased focus, a Methamphetamine Programme has been established to improve the management of meth across the organisation. The programme has been engaging with key stakeholders around the broader issue, including NZ Police, community groups, health, Auckland Council and contractors.
“We have also been selected to sit on an important new committee created to improve standards around meth management. New standards will provide clearer guidelines to those involved in the meth decontamination process,” he says.
The new standard (NZS 8510) will cover testing and remediation of properties contaminated by the ‘cooking’ or use of meth. The current standard guidelines were written to address meth ‘cooking’ and not use, meaning they are not entirely suitable for contamination that occurs through use of meth.