Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.

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  • Russell Brown,

    Okay, this is getting out of hand. The Taranaki Daily News runs a credulous “Meth house” story:

    Hopkins said the discovery was made after potential buyers decided to have the house tested on their lawyer’s advice.

    She said an inspector visited her home and took eight swabs – but put them all in one container so it was not possible to identify which area of her home was contaminated.

    “A few days later my solicitor rang me and said they’ve pulled out,” she said. “I got a real fright.

    “I said that methamphetamine test must have come back positive and she said it had.”

    The potential buyers told Hopkins’ lawyer the results from the swabs showed the house exceeded the Ministry of Health’s guidelines.

    There is, of course, no way such an absurd, sloppy “testing” procedure could actually tell whether the MoH guidelines have been exceeded. The news media have to stop carrying water for these exploiters. Instead, they quote them like they’re bloody scientists:

    Karen Baker, of Detect IT NZ, said she would support the move.

    “The consequences of ending up with a house contaminated with meth are quite severe,” Baker said.

    “The amount of meth out there is quite prevalent, so when you get these two together you start to get quite a high risk factor."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to izogi,

    There’s another HNZ chemical-contamination story in this morning’s Taranaki Daily News, except as yet nobody seems to know what the chemical is. It’s good to see, at least, that HNZ didn’t use that as an excuse to do nothing or worse in this case.

    Same firm as today's story. They claimed to detect but couldn't identify a chemical but they somehow know it's the poison that's making the little girl sick? I'm dubious. To put it mildly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic,

    I've noticed that the Electoral Commission requires a fixed address to be on the electoral roll, and that private boxes don't count. (See Residential Address section on their web site.)

    So how do the homeless get on the electoral roll, given the above rules? There's probably enough of them now to cause a sizeable poll swing if they managed to do so and all of them voted.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • Jeremy Andrew, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    My father, who is not homeless, but lives in a house bus so is of no fixed abode, is registered on the electoral roll at my house.
    Which, of course is not necessarily an option for many homeless, but is a way around many of the 'must have a postal address' issues for those who can find a friend or family member with space in their mailbox.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report

  • izogi, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I should confess that I know the resident personally (well, through my wife).

    It mightn't be the house that's the problem but I hope the shift helps them one way or another. Jess handles things amazingly, imho, considering the circumstances she's been through in life until now... over and over again.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Government does diddly squat...
    I think there must have been a memo from the Government to The Press
    this story http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/81011990/frozen-squatters-shelter-in-christchurchs-derelict-buildings - uses the word 'squatters' 16 times without once mentioning 'homeless people' or even 'rough sleepers'!

    There was a hell of a frost in Chchch last night by the way...

    I especially love this caption:

    Squatters are heading indoors for the winter and police and property owners are not happy.

    I thought that to be a squatter you technically had to already be indoors?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • izogi,

    On a very related tangent..... Wallace Chapman, on RNZ, interviewed Darrin Hodgetts of Massey University.

    Welfare with a big stick

    After researching poverty internationally for over 20 years, Darrin Hodgetts finds a "victim-blaming, punitive approach" to welfare in his home country New Zealand, where the poor are punished for being poor. Professor Hodgetts talks with Wallace Chapman about the need for a more caring and humane approach to New Zealanders in poverty.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Alfie,

    An excellent interview with Ross Bell on Morning Report today. It seems that the government is more than happy to use cowboy meth reports which Housing NZ freely admits are dodgy, as an excuse to evict tenants.

    Underlying this mess is the National Party's ideology that the state shouldn't be in the public housing business. Or anything that benefits poor people. Now tax cuts for the rich, that's a different thing altogether, innit.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    Housing NZ loses a couple of tenancy tribunal cases.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • izogi,

    Ping. (Since it hasn't been mentioned yet.)

    Housing New Zealand has ignored repeated warnings from senior government officials that it is misusing methamphetamine contamination guidelines to evict its tenants.

    The Ministry of Health has repeatedly told Housing New Zealand that its methamphetamine guidelines were to be applied only for the clean up of former meth labs, and were not intended to monitor homes where the drug has been smoked.

    Yet hundreds of tenants have been evicted from their state homes, after Housing New Zealand detected tiny traces of methamphetamine in them, and are often made to pay tens of thousands of dollars in clean up fees.

    The ministry has just published new guidelines saying meth can be found at three to four times higher than the level being used as a reason to evict tenants.

    Director of protection, regulation and assurance, Dr Stewart Jessamine, said the ministry had repeatedly made it clear to Housing New Zealand it was misusing the guidelines.

    "The guidelines are very clear - that they are only for use in houses where methamphetamine has been manufactured. We have pointed out (to Housing New Zealand) and communicated that these guidelines are clearly for use in houses where meth has been manufactured," Dr Jessamine said.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to izogi,

    Ross Bell from the Drug Foundation is forthright on RNZ about what must happen next.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

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