“Meth contamination is unfortunately becoming a problem for all landlords. We manage around 64,000 properties so contamination is something we knew we needed to have a handle on,” says Regional Manager Jackie Pivac. “We were more than happy to share what we have learnt about this issue as well as how we are dealing with contamination in our properties.”
The presentation was well attended by agencies such as Wellington City Council, the Salvation Army and Community Housing Aotearoa.
“We take a really firm stance on any drug use in our properties, including meth. All front-line Housing New Zealand staff are trained to: recognise signs of possible meth ‘cooking’ and use: to deal with tenants who may be affected by this harmful drug; and, manage any conflict issues that could arise in a meth-related situation. We test all of our properties upon suspicion of contamination as well as any property we are going to sell. If a test comes back above the Ministry of Health guideline levels, we will decontaminate the property. Remediation measures range from specialised cleaning through to re-fitting a property. In some cases where contamination levels are very high the property may need to be demolished. The value of a property is carefully assessed when deciding whether it is prudent to clean or re-fit the property as opposed to demolishing it” shares Jackie Pivac.
Housing New Zealand has recently been selected to sit on a Standards New Zealand technical committee to develop a standard which will cover testing and remediation of properties contaminated by the manufacture or use of methamphetamine. The development of this national standard is an important initiative. There are presently no formal standards for methamphetamine testing and decontamination in New Zealand, instead Ministry of Health guidelines are used broadly as a de-facto standard.
Housing New Zealand Project Manager New Construction, Andrew Rose, will bring his experience of working with laboratories and contractors on the testing, decontamination and reinstatement of the Corporation’s properties to the table. Developing the new standard will result in clearer, simple standards that will be able to be easily interpreted and implemented by all housing providers.
Article provided by Housing New Zealand Communications & Media Department for AHI