29 Mar 2016

State house tenants told to pay for meth mess

9:57 pm on 29 March 2016

Housing New Zealand is looking to recoup $54,000 from two tenants who contaminated their state houses with methamphetamine.

Workers at a contaminated property.

Workers at a contaminated property. Photo: Contaminated Site Solutions

The Tenancy Tribunal has ordered an Ashburton woman to pay $34,000, and a former Whangarei tenant to pay more than $17,000 in clean-up costs.

Housing New Zealand has welcomed the rulings, and said the financial burden of cleaning up a house contaminated by meth should not fall on the taxpayer.

Its chief operating officer, Paul Commons, said it had been focusing on identifying homes where methamphetamine might have been used in the past as opposed to manufactured.

Where it found contamination it ended the tenancy, and called in police and Child Youth and Family.

Housing New Zealand did not currently test all vacant state houses for methamphetamine contamination, but it was considering doing so, Mr Commons said.