Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: "Meth contamination": the making of a moral panic

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  • Shulgin,

    OMG...do you mean the auckland property market was fed by meth?

    NZ • Since May 2011 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers, in reply to BenWilson,

    I own a few houses. I have no idea what might have occurred in them in the past. In one case, there is a lockup under the house with no windows, lined with plastic sheeting. The previous owner was a builder who ran out of money.

    To remove all doubt about what may have occurred in the past I wanted these houses tested for meth. It's a prudent precaution to determine both risk and possibly liability. I'm not worried about low readings due to (possible) use. But I wasn't going to be all "she'll be right" and ignore the possibility of contamination. I simply did not know. I wanted to know.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Shanks, in reply to Adam H,

    I wonder how about the creeping propaganda like this has? I seem to hear a lot of it from my friends who have National Party connections…
    Yes Adam there is a definite link here. Remember Mike Sabin, the former National MP for Northland who resigned amidst serious allegations of misconduct, the details of which I have still yet to be revealed. Cover-up! Well his prior money spinner after serving as a cop was setting up MethCon where he would go around the country stirring up paranoia about meth.

    Lower Hutt • Since Aug 2016 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Sacha,

    this govt are quite comfortable with state houses containing deadly mould.

    There are houses where mould will be a problem regardless, and houses like ours where the tenants have almost complete control over the mould. Specifically, if they never open the windows there will be condensation and mould. To fix that we would need to put extractor fans into every room and prevent the tenants turning them off, which would make a cold brick house even colder. I have emphasised to them the usefulness of locking the bedroom windows in the "slightly ajar" position when leaving home for the day... but some prefer to complain about the mould.

    However, houses where the mould is a permanent feature are a whole different story, and there are times when demolishing the place is the only option. Often it should be done anyway, because expectations have changed - we expect insulation, airflow, all sorts of "modern conveniences" that mean we also generally live longer, healthier lives. OTOH, crawling under the house and tightening one of the seals under the shower has removed the mustly smell from the adjacent bedroom.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Steve Withers,

    I’m not worried about low readings due to (possible) use. But I wasn’t going to be all “she’ll be right” and ignore the possibility of contamination. I simply did not know. I wanted to know.

    Do you have asbestos in any of your houses?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • Prudence, in reply to izogi,

    ” I wonder how often staff float between HNZ and commercial agencies.” Well one that I know of anyway. She now works for one of the real estate robbers and announced a year or so ago that she had just gained her P testing certification.
    Very dubious I thought.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Moz,

    houses like ours where the tenants have almost complete control over the mould

    I'm about to move out of a home whose mould I cannot have controlled because the only ventilation is windows that open into the prevailing (and frequent, being Auckland) rain.

    Thankfully, a heat pump is about to be installed for the next tenant. Mould for this sodden residence was written into the tenancy agreement, which I wish I had paid more attention to. Landlords were good people, though, which often counts for more.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Sam Bradford,

    I've seen ads in the paper - franchise opportunity! become a meth tester! It's clearly a racket.

    Also particularly nonsensical given that, as many have pointed out, houses (both state and private) which pose far greater health threats are breezily rented out. Ours certainly has a ton of black mould. There's basically no point complaining about it, landlords will always blame you for 'not ventilating properly' even if, as we do, you leave the windows open all day every day, cold be damned... One of those topics that makes life in NZ feel very grim.

    New Zealand • Since Jul 2014 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'm curious about the scale of the actual meth lab problem itself, given I'll be a landlord soon. How many houses has this actually happened in in NZ? Even a ballpark would be good. Are we talking hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands? Because if a cleanup is, say, $20,000, but the chances are one in a hundred thousand per annum, then the average cleanup cost is 20c per annum. If it's more like one in a hundred per annum that takes it up to $200, and it might be worth the cost of a MethMinder.

    I'm guessing no one really knows these figures?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Meth OD-ists...
    https://www.police.govt.nz/safety/how-to-identify-a-clandestine-drug-lab.pdf

    Clandestine labs used to cook up methamphetamine have been found in houses, garages, motel rooms, business premises and vehicles. Between 2000 and 2012, Police discovered more than 1,800 of them around New Zealand. A record 211 clan labs were found in 2006, but the total tracked downwards to 94 in 2012. Yvonne Powley, who chairs the Auckland Regional Methamphetamine Working Group, says Police can only uncover the tip of the iceberg. “The meth makers are very mobile, they go from place to place, so the problem keeps increasing every year. It is a big issue. The impact on people who discover they’re renting or have purchased a contaminated property is huge.”

    https://www.drugfoundation.org.nz/matters-of-substance/february-2016/mythbusters-meth-contaminated-houses

    and some tips:
    http://www.joferris.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/p-story.pdf

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

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