And here comes the new Housing NZ policy:
Based on the findings in the CSA report from today we’re moving the level which triggers the need for decontamination activity - if a Housing NZ property tests between 1.5 µg/100 cm2 and 15 µg/100 cm2, decontamination is not triggered.
We’ll continue to test where we suspect meth lab activity or very heavy meth use, and if a property tests higher than 15 µg/100 cm2 and a methamphetamine lab or very heavy use has been identified, we’ll decontaminate in accordance with the current Standards to a level of 1.5 µg/100 cm2.
And what this means:
Using the CSA’s findings and recommendations will mean a greater number of state homes will be available to households in need because we will not be unnecessarily decontaminating at the levels we have been.
It’s remarkable how long the meth-testing industry kept up the pretence.
MethSolutions’ Miles Stratford issued this deeply deceptive press statement only a few weeks ago – clumsily attacking the Drug Foundation (and clearly looking to take advantage over the Massey High School flap).
These efforts have been led by Ross Bell of the NZ Drug Foundation. Bell has labelled the meth testing and decontamination industry a ‘scam’. Naturally, this line of thinking appeals to the economic interest of property owners (private landlords or HNZ) who are inconvenienced by meth residues and can find themselves footing some sizeable bills.
It should be pointed out that Bell’s focus is on minimisation of harm to the people who choose to use drugs like methamphetamine. His focus is not on the people who own the property assets or those who later live in meth- affected houses, like the tenant featured in Stuff.
Bell is involved with groups who have the ultimate goal of getting all drugs, including meth, decriminalised. Meth residues causing problems for independent property owners puts pressure on Bell’s constituency not to use and makes achievement of this goal less likely.
Bell’s righteously indignant ‘scam’ claims are ‘validated’ by the ‘science’ of Dr. Nick Kim. Dr Kim’s opinion is not held by all scientists. While Dr. Kim may be happy with meth levels of 12.5μg/100cm2, most scientists around the world focus on a level of 1 – 1.5μg/100cm2. Some remain convinced that the level should be lower. Australia has a limit of 0.5μg/100cm2 for both use and manufacture of meth. At 1.5μg/100cm2 the level that is part of the Standard, has clear precedent and is well support by science, if not public sentiment.
I feel immense comfort today that people like Miles Stratford won’t have a business for much longer.
Henry Cooke's report on Stuff:
"There is absolutely no evidence in the medical literature of anyone being harmed from passive use, at any level," Gluckman said.
"We can't find one case."
Gluckman said testing and cleaning still made sense when there was suspicion that methamphetamine had been produced on a property, or used at extremely high levels - but this was more to do with reassurance.
He said a "moral panic" around cleaning remediation had occurred only in New Zealand. If science had been involved earlier in the policy-making process this could have been avoided.
Phil Twyford's press release.
Sir Peter’s report found that remediation according to the NZS 8510: 2017 standard is appropriate only for identified former meth labs and properties where heavy meth use has been determined.
Along with NZS 8510: 2017, it will contribute to any regulations that may be made under the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No 2), soon to have its second reading in the House.
“I expect, pending Cabinet agreement, that there will be a public consultation document on meth regulations later this year,” Phil Twyford says.
As the Drug Foundation has observed this morning, Sir Peter's report calls for a new meth screening test regime, set at much higher levels, properly based on risk.
Within five minutes he was getting more and more exercised about the need for P testing: “You never know who’s been in here!!! Half of [upscale suburb] is on P!!!! We test EVERY house for P!! It’s essential.”. At which point I pointed out that two 90-year-olds had lived there for 30 years and that it was not going to happen.
My god, imagine how many times that bloody scenario has played out in the last few years.
I grew up in times when state housing was in almost all suburbs – “pepper-potting”. It was tough being a poor kid at a prosperous school, but if you weren’t the only one, it wasn’t too bad.
Importantly, those schools were well-resourced and you got to see some of how “the other half lived”. And learn some of the cultural stuff around being middle-class – the language they use, the customs. Even, at a young age, networking. In short, going to a middle-class school was one way to boost upward mobility. Although without middle-class parents or income, it’s merely a start – but better than nothing.
Pepper-potting was what let John Key go to the same school as me, Burnside High. There was state housing scattered through the nearby suburbs and I think the result of that was good for everyone at the school.
But I recently had a discussion with a couple of Māori friends about pepper-potting and was quite shocked to discover they had a very different view – they felt it had broken up their communities and cut them off from their culture. So it is complicated sometimes.
As for those NIMBY wankers in Epsom, the only time I was seriously bullied at school for being “different” was at Epsom Normal Intermediate School.
Interesting. You’re not the first one I’ve seen mentioning that school in a negative context.
And I got to go to a kid’s birthday party where the house had a swimming pool AND sauna.
Heh. Yeah, I remember going to the properly rich kids’ houses …
Meanwhile, professional shithead Mark Richardson:
"I've worked hard all my life and I've put my nuts on the line. I've tried to optimise every opportunity, I screwed myself to the wall to get into the eastern suburbs of Auckland.
"I don't then want [Phil] Twyford coming in and going 'we'll put that, that, that, that, that, that' without at least consulting me. I have a right to have my house and have my moat and protect that."
That is ACT policy isn’t it?