Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Meth houses and stigma

23 Responses

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Meanwhile, Housing New Zealand, how are you getting along at making your rental stock warm, dry and inhospitable to black mould and other things that have proven negative health outcomes for your tenants?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    2ug / 100 cm2

    To put this into context, methamphetamine is a licensed and prescribed pharmaceutical with a usual therapeutic dose of 5mg daily.

    To reach this level by ingesting domestic "contamination" you'd have to eat:
    2500 x 100cm2 of wall = 25m2

    => basically all the walls in an average room, *every day*. Eat the walls, that is - just licking wouldn't do it.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    In the HNZ blocks where I live, there were three and possibly five, apartments that were 'contaminated'. By that, meth was smoked in the apartments. HNZ kicked the tenants out (one of them has returned to the streets, I see him around from time to time, and I think he's had a raw deal), and stripped the apartments of all linings. Completely. Then boarded up the apartments. It's been like that for 6 - 8 months now, maybe a year, but in the last month thankfully two apartments have been 'rebuilt' i.e. lined, and made habitable.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    one of the most prominent meth-testing entrepreneurs

    Is he out of jail yet?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • David Herkt,

    I echo your argument and your final paragraph, Russell. it is a subject that has driven me insane for years since I first saw a private testing agency at an HIV/AIDS and illicit drug conference in Melbourne in the early 1980s.

    It has always been a contentious subject with very poorly drawn guidelines.There have been no acknowledgement of false positives, for instance. Let alone the whole practice of actually taking the samples themselves.

    And the media by and large deserve contempt for their swallowing of a particular business-line without considering the evidence on which it is based. It has been trotted out without examination with increasing frequency over the last decade. They have created a climate of unjustified fear from which private agencies have profited.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2007 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Bell,

    That person you mention in the last parace sits on the Standards NZ meth review committee. Don't hold your breath.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    The ministry claimed yesterday that it had repeatedly warned Housing New Zealand it was misusing its 2010 lab guidelines to evict tenants. And yet when I approached the ministry with questions about this selfsame misapprehension of its advice, the response was to insist that the guidelines were ”self-explanatory” and no further action was necessary. So there’s a pretty high stench of bullshit here.

    I don't know if you can blame the Ministry. They probably were warning Housing New Zealand. But they'd have had to run their response to your query past their Minister's office, who would never, in a million years, have let them admit to that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Bell,

    Min health should have made any warnings very public, not just for HNZ’s sake but to also help landlords, tenants etc be informed. Its silence was deafening.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • James Green, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    a usual therapeutic dose of 5mg daily

    Actually it's much higher than that. 5mg is the starting dose, titrated upwards each week until optimal response is observed (usually 20-25mg/day). Methamphetamine isn't recommended for use in under 12s, but dexamphetamine doses for a 3 year old start at 2.5mg.

    Limerick, Ireland • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Lumley,

    There's one big problem left unaddressed. I haven't seen any mention of baseline testing, so it seems that presence of meth (over the new threshold) will still be taken as evidence that the current tenant is responsible.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2013 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Thomas Lumley,

    Exactly the position Housing NZ double-down on in their OIA response via fyi.org.nz

    I also noticed their terminological evasiveness about 'eviction' vs 'termination' of tenancies, plus the very steep rise in spend over the last 3 years.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Benedict Collins did a great RNZ Checkpoint interview with Housing NZ, who seem to be blaming everyone other than themselves.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Benedict Collins did a great RNZ Checkpoint interview with Housing NZ, who seem to be blaming everyone other than themselves.

    That was so well put together and he nailed that last interview. Bravo.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I expect some resignations next week. Not the right ones, but some.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Well, good fucking job.

    Yup. Sup? Schmuck.

    And yet, I missed something. This personage who's been profiteering by misrepresenting misreported standards whilst also sitting in some position of influence over said standards: may we know its name?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    This in the Herald this morning.

    Not the reactionary "run them out of town" narrative you'd expect.

    Expressions of grief at how P has blighted the paradise that is the Far North...and some sound ideas on how to turn things around.

    "We're not going to arrest our way out of this," says Northland police commander, Superintendent Russell Le Prou. "We're going to have to do something smarter."

    Le Prou talks about Our Leader's Tackling Methamphetamine Action Plan...as a potential smarter option...

    The money is funding for a combined approach by police and the Northland District Health Board.

    "There has to be some enforcement but what we have to do is concentrate on end users and changing some of their habits," says Le Prou. For police, "it's a shift in thinking", he says.


    Police and health workers have yet to meet

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    Rosemary: when the police talk about changing people's habits, they mean coercively, that police will decide who you get to talk to and where you get to be.


    But it's nice to see this particular brand of bullshit might actually end. Though really, unless there's a political acceptance of wrongdoing, they will just produce a test that finds 2µg more often so they can sit the house in limbo for six months and then sell it for being empty.

    Because again, Housing NZ is required to return a large sum of money to the government, and the only way they can legally do that is to turf people out and keep the houses empty and then sell them. Meth contamination is just the tool they needed to fulfil the idealistic requirements placed upon them from above, of less need for state housing.

    Much like Dunedin Hospital solved the waiting room time problem at weekends by partitioning off a bit of it and calling that bit the triage room instead. So they let you into the "waiting room" when they're ready to see you, and then you don't wait very long in the waiting room. Box ticked, ministers happy, stats looking good come election time.

    Or how crime's down, because we cut all the resources off police that let them actually get convictions for minor offences, those non-essential legal type staff that just prepared the evidence and the charge sheets and stuff for court. So now a whole bunch of cases just get thrown out instead. Thus, less crime.

    But importantly, taxes are very low on very rich people, which would be highly inflationary if you actually funded public services properly at the same time. Also, the minister's spouse runs a non-profit charity that could do all that work much more profitably, for such a modest salary.

    Since Nov 2006 • 611 posts Report Reply

  • Shulgin,

    if one turns all this shit over with a pitch fork, as one should...there are folks who, with all due respect, will start targeting state houses to lick the walls to get a contact high...it just as well many of them are empty...or it would be home invasion...how much wall do i need to lick? its in the standard moron....but anyway..when the evangelical invade government agencies for a lack of commercial spunk, we are in deep trouble, lick away people at your state house...the micrograms will kill your child...and speaking of evidence...when did a zero tolerance policy backed by a MOH cock-up..eva count as a wiener?

    Cocks! all of you

    NZ • Since May 2011 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Sacha,

    I expect some resignations next week. Not the right ones, but some.

    Or maybe not. The other option is to double down, act indignant and claim you did nothing wrong. Stuff has an opinion piece by Paul Commons, COO of Housing New Zealand.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Alfie,

    an opinion piece

    Arse covering of the highest order you mean!
    Jeez is the bureaucracy crawling with fuckwits like this?
    I just ask because that has the most appalling piece of drivel I have had to give up reading...

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to andin,

    Jeez is the bureaucracy crawling with fuckwits like this?


    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Oblivious to the facts the Health Dept put out Stuff seems to be continuing the support for decontaminating houses after meth use (rather than manufacture) from yesterday’s Waikato Times (web) ...or at least blurring the difference – this was allegedly a ‘Business’ article.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    from yesterday’s Waikato Times

    The accommodation industry he said is "blinded to who methamphetamine users are".

    "One motelier rejected my approach saying, 'we don't allow those types of people to stay in their premises'," he said.

    "My question is, describe a meth user?

    "Statistics show they are business people in their suits to the not-so-well groomed.

    Once you've cast out your first demon you start spotting them everywhere. Why only last week there were two ahead of me in the checkout queue at Pak 'n Save....

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

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