Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Housing NZ keeps digging the meth hole

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  • Moz,

    these "culprits" should be denied social support for the rest of their lives

    Yeah, because that will help a lot. Take a petty criminal who desperately needs social support, and give them the choice between dying and becoming a career criminal. Gee, I wonder what will happen?

    I would love to see the PM and Parliament House tested for "meth contamination". I predict that we would hear a lot more about false positives afterwards :)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1097 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    HNZ needs to shoulder most of the responsibility for the hysteria its pseudo-testing has created, and the lucrative cowboy testing industry which has arisen.

    Today's Herald has a story about Auckland landlords seeking the right to conduct meth testing themselves and having the results recognised by the Tenancy Tribunal. I can't see that ending well. Naturally the cowboy industry is completely opposed to the idea.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1340 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Alfie,

    It seems like a reasonable request to me. I think there’s an awful lot of bullshitting going on about how expensive the testing needs to be, and you can’t even get an unmonitored alarm at all. There’s definitely a scramble to own this burgeoning market going on. As a landlord-to-be who lives in the same building, an alarm that simply alerted me personally that it was pinging would be well worth having. An alarm that automatically sends the police around to smash my door in, not so much. Just the existence of the device (that could ping me) would be deterrent enough to meth production, which is the only thing I’d be concerned about.

    But fuck it, I think me living upstairs will be deterrent enough, and that’s as much of the moral panic as I can be bothered with.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10530 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    It seems like HNZ was wrong and now finds itself unable to admit that and so is just digging it's heels in to justify the obviously flawed policy.

    To be fair given the way the media react I can see why HNZ would hate to admit any mistake in its policies. But that's part of being a grown-up, if you make mistakes you need to admit them and work to fix the damage.

    If you were a cynical type you might suggest a bunch of people are making a ton of money from testing and cleanup contracts and some of that money might directly or indirectly driving this policy. But in this case I think it's just an error of judgement that they should simply reverse.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4418 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    It seems like HNZ was wrong and now finds itself unable to admit that and so is just digging it's heels in to justify the obviously flawed policy.

    Yeah, that's my read: they're backed into a corner.

    And the management has a vision of HNZ as something other than a social agency.

    Mitchell is a business process guy.

    Paul Commons, the COO who's been fronting a lot of the meth stuff for HNZ, comes from project management, originally in the cement business.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22403 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It seems like HNZ was wrong and now finds itself unable to admit that and so is just digging it's heels in to justify the obviously flawed policy.

    I suspect it's also because their political masters have made it clear they don't want egg anywhere near their own faces - and are quietly pleased at the prospect of a moral panic demonising HNZ tenants.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2071 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I should note my comment above is specifically in response to Alfie, not to what HNZ is doing, which strikes me as insanity.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10530 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Mitchell is a business process guy.

    Paul Commons, the COO who’s been fronting a lot of the meth stuff for HNZ, comes from project management, originally in the cement business.

    >Rant incoming

    That's true of every agency now. There is a myth (spread by management) that a good manager can manage anything. Our own CEOs come from Fonterra management who (guessing here) want to come home to NZ. They are nice guys but have no passion for science nor real deep-seated understanding of it, so they impose management doctrine without understanding the damage it does when it doesn't fit with the work we actually do.

    You can see the same in most government departments. Ground level staff despairing of the management decisions.

    And boards of directors are as bad, old white male accountants in suits all recommending each other for the next directorship, hiring yet more managers into leadership positions where they don't fit.

    And any time the going gets remotely tough they're off with a golden handshake to the next management position ...

    a pox on all their houses.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4418 posts Report Reply

  • william blake, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    "and are quietly pleased at the prospect of a moral panic demonising HNZ tenants."

    This dovetails with the P.M. expressing his reckon that the high immigration level is down to the casualised workforce being too stoned to work. There is a very ugly picture being drawn here of an outwardly moral and compliant society that has access to work, food and shelter and an impoverished underclass that is left to fend for itself.

    Since Mar 2010 • 363 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    That’s true of every agency now. There is a myth (spread by management) that a good manager can manage anything. Our own CEOs come from Fonterra management who (guessing here) want to come home to NZ. They are nice guys but have no passion for science nor real deep-seated understanding of it, so they impose management doctrine without understanding the damage it does when it doesn’t fit with the work we actually do.

    Yes. The whole HNZ meth thing is very process-heavy. It's interesting that it was the tenancy managers on the ground who were the ones who said "should we really be doing this?"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22403 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    but there has clearly not always been a zero-tolerance policy, even for drug manufacture.

    But Russell, we have always been at war with Eurasia...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2891 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to nzlemming,

    Attachment

    Of course.

    From a letter to the NZ Drug Foundation demanding payment for an OIA response.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22403 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    There is a myth (spread by management) that a good manager can manage anything.

    Core feature of neoliberal bollockry since 1984.
    #bakedbeans

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19481 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Edited for brvity :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2071 posts Report Reply

  • Shulgin,

    Attachment

    A zero tolerance policy, administered by the State, that sort of covers it all really.

    A zero tolerance policy, for micrograms amounts of an organic compound. If that was put to me, using the Health Departments Clan Lab Guidelines, I would stay in bed, never shake hands with any fucker and perhaps put myself under house arrest for the bloody fear, contained in a zero tolerance policy for mircograms.

    Of course meth and ecstasy are just a functional group different, phen-ethyl-amines.

    So what is phen-ethyl-amines...well they are a naturally occurring compound found in both the animal and plant kingdom. "It is an endogenous component of the human brain."

    and

    "Any series of compounds containing the phenethylamine skeleton, and modified by chemical constituents at appropriate positions in the molecule."

    So there we have it a zero tolerance policy, to millionths of a gram on a state house wall, skeletons and brains.

    I searched carefully for the harm side of, and found meth to actually be a medicine, to assist ADHD Jonknee.

    Things get even more interesting with the racemate versions, you can have a the steroisomers, left and right versions if you will. It seems to be, although they are chemically the same, the receptors only like it one way round.

    "consumption of apples by children from birth to 5 months of age"

    well.... I take zero tolerance policy to that sort of published science....round the fuckers up...

    as Karl Marx said, its about 'economics' -silly...

    a HNZ concrete expert, and a construction guy, screen shots for a key word search...i feel quite ill at what we have become as a society.

    NZ • Since May 2011 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Although ... my impression is that the philosophy does pretty well at the functional business of property management.

    A HNZ employee put it to me that although the government has run down public housing stock, a move away from pouring all the money into expanding that stock had meant the assets are better maintained now.

    But there are obvious limits to this ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22403 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It also has to be asked how much of that "better maintenance" is actually directed at making state houses more habitable (having already been deferred to a point where houses were unfit for purpose), rather than at preparing "assets" for sale.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1790 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    From a letter to the NZ Drug Foundation demanding payment for an OIA response.

    Say what? Screenshots??? They have a database that they can't get reports out of? Bollocks. Straight to the Ombudsman with that one!

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2891 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Brown,

    It's all quite absurd really. Black mould in a state house bedroom would be several magnitudes more dangerous to the inhabitants than than microscopic traces of methamphetamine that constitutes "contamination!" and a massive payday for the decontaminators. It's not like anyone's going to be licking it off the ceiling - which they probably could with nicotine...

    Auckland • Since Mar 2013 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    the assets are better maintained now.

    My dad did some of that task in the 90s. Some horror stories. Unsurprised if management of that function has improved since. Brewery piss-ups, on the other hand ..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19481 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Martin Brown,

    Black mould

    Quite. Where's the moral panic over exposing NZ children to that, when we know it has killed some?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19481 posts Report Reply

  • Shulgin,

    I was just thinking,

    with an aging population and all,

    if we are burning more corpses, would their residue end up on a state house wall?

    kreemaychun...micrograms, all over the place, find land to bury them, its much safer!

    enjoy yur evening~

    NZ • Since May 2011 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    HNZ seem to be proud of the fact that they're actively targetting meth users rather than cooks. In someone's tiny corporate mind, a positive test, no matter how irrelevant, is viewed as some kind of win. Check out this HNZ response to an OIA request... (my bold).

    Our staff are also becoming more experienced in identifying methamphetamine use, and we are placing greater focus on identifying homes where methamphetamine is used, or has been used in the past, rather than manufactured.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1340 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Alfie,

    That's so they can have an easy way to toss people out of homes they want to sell off.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2891 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to nzlemming,

    The word "tossers" seems to sum them up pretty well.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1790 posts Report Reply

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