New Housing Minister talks tough on ending ‘moral panic’ after potential millions wasted on testing and cleaning
2018 could be the beginning of the end for many in the Meth testing industry
At last! Someone with power and influence has the guts to come out say what we have been arguing for a long, long time. The ‘moral panic’ caused by certain Meth testing companies was instigated to make a quick dollar according to new Housing Minister Phil Twyford. Here at Real iQ, we wholeheartedly agree.
Although we acknowledge that there are many reputable companies operating under IANZ Accreditation, many companies have been set up to try and cash in on the ‘moral panic’.
Back in early 2016, we held a webinar highlighting the alarming amount of companies being set up to carry out Meth testing, warning that the industry was nothing more than a money making scam.
Over the last few years, millions upon millions of dollars has been spent within the private and public sector on testing and cleaning properties without any evidence to suggest that low levels of meth are a risk to occupants.
In the public sector alone, $73 million has been spent on testing and decontamination whilst 900 families have been evicted from their homes.
We argue that the millions of dollars that have been fleeced out of unsuspecting landlords have probably caused more health issues. This is due to stress caused by the financial burden of dealing with the fallout of a positive Meth test. This is compared to that of a tenant living in a property with low levels of Meth contamination.
And what about the tenants? Many have probably been accused, unnecessarily so, of damaging properties. Many have been evicted out of properties when there is no actual evidence to suggest that living in the property is causing damage to their health. Instead, they find themselves being removed from a property, having to deal with the upheaval of a move which in itself takes its toll of tenants, especially those with young children.
Who benefits? Follow the dollar
In retrospect, the new guidelines of 1.5 micrograms are nothing more than a sham. With the working group of 21 who developed the standards, nearly half of this group had a financial interest in keeping the standards as low as possible. It wasn’t until the 11th hour that REINZ came onto the committee and even this was after late petitioning. Dr Nick Kim, the person who seems to have the most knowledge on the subject, with absolutely no financial gain or conflict of interest in regards to the setting of standards was not even invited onto the committee.
We have seen a dramatic increase of Methamphetamine cases going to Tribunal over the last 3 years. In January 2015 there were 3 cases increasing to 38 in November 2017
Number of Meth Tribunal Related Cases
Cases involving Methamphetamine have increased by nearly 100% over the last two years. In 2017 1.96% of Tribunal Cases were Meth related compared to 0.99% in 2015
Dr Kim of Massey University has long argued that the guidelines, originally written for Meth labs, which are different to where a property has had Meth smoked only, are ‘incredibly conservative’. His comments state that readings of 12 micrograms are…….