Hawke's Bay Property Investors' Association

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Andrew King updates members on meth contamination.

The much anticipated report on acceptable levels of meth contaminatioin was released recently by the Ministry of Health.

The main finding of the report is that the current levels of acceptable meth contamination are to be amended. The new recommendations are that levels where meth has been manufactured will remain at 0.5 micrograms per 100cm2.

However where meth has just been used in a property, the level has been increased to 1.5 micrograms per 100cm2 if the property has carpet, or 2 micrograms per 100cm2 if the property doesn't have carpet.

This is good news for everyone. To put these levels into perspective, the current level of 0.5 micrograms per 100cm2 is the equivalent of a piece of meth the size of a grain of salt, divided by 1,000. It is microscopic and at a level that cannot effect even the most vulnerable.

Despite this, many thousands of dollars must be spent in order to get the level of meth in a property down to this level.

Meth cleaning companies have been chastised for the cost they charge. However it is extremely difficult for them to get a property below this level. In addition to the fact that many more properties will no longer being classified as contaminated, increasing the acceptable level where meth has been used should make the cleaner’s job easier.

There has been some confusion as to when these new recommendations should apply. Technically, each local authority needs to individually adopt these new recommendations, which could see different levels applying around the country.

However meth cleaning companies appear to be applying these new levels for new work they are taking on. They have encountered problems with customers who are half way through or just completed a cleanup under the previous recommendations. However the work was completed under the rules of the day and although it is understandable that these owners do not want to pay for a higher level of cleaning, it is unreasonable for these companies not to be paid for the work they have done.

The good news for these property owners is that rechecks after a property has been cleaned will likely be at the new recommended levels. This means that some will have a better chance of passing.

Standards NZ will be releasing its draft meth standard soon for public consultation.


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