16 Jun 2016

Standardise test needed for meth house testing

8:40 am on 16 June 2016

The government is being urged to standardise testing and cleaning practices for houses contaminated with methamphetamine.

Workers at a contaminated site.

Workers clean up a house contaminated with P. Photo: Contaminated Site Solutions

Currently, it is the responsibility of home-buyers to test properties, but there is no standard way of doing it.

Homes where methamphetamine has been manufactured are a serious health hazard for residents, and in severe cases buildings need to be demolished.

Harcourts chief executive Chris Kennedy said the recent seizure of nearly 450kg of meth in the Far North shows how widespread the drug has become in New Zealand.

He said the number of contaminated houses is on the rise, and minimum standards for testing and cleaning them are needed sooner rather than later.

"You now need a qualified building inspector or a qualified inspection company to carry out a building inspection, why should methamphetamine testing be any different?"

He said the issue is comparable to the leaky homes crisis, which resulted in tighter regulations for building inspection.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs