16 Mar 2016

400 state homes contaminated with P

3:48 pm on 16 March 2016

There are 400 Housing New Zealand homes contaminated with P, including four which were built only last June.

Workers at a contaminated property.

Workers at a contaminated property. Photo: Contaminated Site Solutions

Minister of Social Housing Paula Bennett said today at least four new homes in a Christchurch housing development have been contaminated with P, or methamphetamine, by tenants.

The homes are part of a new housing development of 19 homes, which was completed in Christchurch only last June.

Housing New Zealand (HNZ) said earlier that two homes had been contaminated and tenants from those homes had been evicted. Ms Bennett later upgraded the number of homes contaminated to four.

The effects of the contaminated houses on children living in the homes was distressing, she said.

HNZ's chief operating officer Paul Commons said about 400 HNZ properties around the country were uninhabitable as a result of P contamination and were in various stages of testing and remediation.

"It's a feeling of terrible disappointment that this happens, and also a feeling of outrage as well. We find it's totally unacceptable this is going on, because these houses are in need," Mr Commons said.

"If people can't respect the house and their own health and the health of their families in these homes, there are other families that need to be housed, there's other people with needs - we will house those who will look after themselves and look after the homes."

Ms Bennett said there had been a reduction in P use over the past four years, due in part to HNZ testing homes for the drug.

Almost $6 million has been spent on testing and remediation around the country in the past six months.

HNZ has about 69,000 properties.