Gluckman: Methamphetamine policy was a crock

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, May 30th, 2018 - 80 comments
Categories: class war, drugs, labour, making shit up, national, paula bennett, phil twyford, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

One of the many sensible early steps taken by Phil Twyford was to reverse Housing Corporation’s insane policy on methamphetamine.

Under the last Government it had a policy that any trace found in a Housing Corporation unit would start the process of getting the person evicted as well as in some cases seeking damages for over the top repair bills. And there would be an ongoing affect on tenants if they applied for accommodation in the future.

This zealous action was described by the Drug Foundation as a witch hunt. This was written in a Radio New Zealand article in 2016:

Housing New Zealand has ignored repeated warnings from senior government officials that the meth testing guidelines it was using to evict its tenants were only meant for houses where the drug had been manufactured.

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 clear it had concerns about the way Housing New Zealand was using the ministry’s 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.

Putting it as simply as I can if a former meth lab was cleaned so that it met the permitted level it could confidently be said that the levels of all of the toxic chemicals used in the manufacturing process would be safe.  But for houses where methamphetamine was consumed but not manufactured the level was way lower than it had to be.

This did not prevent the last Government from creating a moral panic over the presence of methamphetamine.  And for harassing state house tenants at the same time.

Paula Bennett herself was in the centre of the get tough policy.  The Herald quoted her in this article in 2016:

“Any situation where methamphetamine use has been found in social housing is unacceptable, but the number of young children in this case makes it particularly distressing,” [Bennett] said.

Almost 400 Housing New Zealand properties are uninhabitable as a result of P, according to the most recent figures.

Most contaminations are a result of P use, rather than the houses being used as P labs.

In the last six months alone, Housing New Zealand has spent $5.8 million on testing and remediation.

“Housing New Zealand is taking a much stricter approach to detecting and dealing with serious drug use in its properties,” Mrs Bennett said.

“Frontline staff are better trained to look out for contamination, use and manufacturing. If a property is found to be contaminated, the tenancy will be terminated.”

Testing properties for methamphetamine and cleaning contaminated ones was costly and time-consuming, she said.

“When we have hundreds of people waiting for social housing, it’s disappointing people break the law and deprive others of homes.”

The meth testing and building industries certainly had a great time from the policy.  It is estimated that Housing Corp spent $100 million on testing and repairs.

Phil Twyford thought the policy was madness and promptly reversed the policy when he became Minister.  His thoughts were recorded in this Radio New Zealand article.  He was quoted as saying:

“… Housing New Zealand are changing their policy and they are moving to a new approach for dealing with this issue that I think is more compassionate and more considered.”

The minister said if methamphetamine traces were found now support, not eviction, would be the first approach.

“Over the last three years Housing New Zealand, on behalf of the tax payer, has spent $75 million on testing and remediating houses that are or were allegedly contaminated.”

Mr Twyford said this had left hundreds of properties empty.

“Some 900 properties have been left vacant in the middle of a housing crisis on the basis of a methamphetamine contamination standard that cannot distinguish between a place that is genuinely contaminated from the manufacture of methamphetamine, and would endanger the health of someone living in that house, and an infinitesimally small residue that would pose no risk.”

He said a kind of moral panic over methamphetamine had taken hold.

“I think that has been drummed up and exploited by a meth testing industry that saw an opportunity to make a dollar.

And yesterday the PM’s chief science officer Peter Gluckman also rubbished the former Government’s policy.  Again from Radio New Zealand:

The country’s top scientists say New Zealand has been gripped by hysteria and are recommending people do not test their homes for meth – unless the Police specifically indicate it was a meth lab.

A new report by the Prime Minister’s chief science adviser Sir Peter Gluckman found there’s never been a documented case of someone getting sick from third-hand exposure to meth.

Sir Peter said there has been an inexplicable leap in logic in New Zealand in which clean-up standards for meth labs jumped to become a measure for passive exposure.

“There’s absolutely no evidence in the medical literature anywhere in the world, of anybody being harmed by passive exposure to methamphetamine at any level,” Sir Peter said.

“We can’t find one case in the medical literature, we can’t find one case by talking to experts where there is evidence of harm … it makes no sense.”

The “inexplicable leap in logic” that Gluckman talks about is the political utility for National to be “tough on crime” and beat up on poor people at the same time.  Their supporters expect it.  Sure a housing crisis was made much worse by boarding up multiple houses and hundreds of ordinary kiwis were terrorised and had their lives disrupted but this appeared to be outweighed by the political benefit of having something tough to say when Ministers were asked what they were doing about the methamphetamine crisis.

I am pleased it is over.  But National and particularly Paula Bennett need to wear the opprobrium that a reality and science based analysis of the real situation is generating.

80 comments on “Gluckman: Methamphetamine policy was a crock ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Unless National Party enabled fraud is prosecuted, they’ll keep on doing it.

    Prediction: there will be no SFO investigation into this massive fraud. The perpetrators will move on and find a way to launder the money, and start up some new scam. National Party MPs will continue to receive their bribes in the form of “lucrative business opportunities” when they leave Parliament.

    Investigate. Prosecute.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Yep. These people need to be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    • Baba Yaga 1.2

      When is Metiria Turei being prosecuted for ACTUAL fraud OAB?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1

        When the SFO gets down to the dollars and cents infractions, I suppose. In the meantime, malfeasance is comprised of purported exercise of duty, malice and/or willful disregard, and actual harm to individuals.

        As a dupe of Rand, you’re supposed to abhor harm to individuals, but here you are, chucking deflections around.

        That’s ok: you all look the same to me.

      • NZJester 1.2.2

        How about a certain Nation MP who might have done even more while on the benefit than Metiria Turei? One who managed to stifle any proper investigation getting underway to look into her suspected fraud?

  2. mac1 2

    Phil Twyford knew, back in 2016.

    https://www.labour.org.nz/558_state_houses_left_empty_based_on_dodgy_p_testing

    558 houses left empty during a housing crisis. At that time $22 million had been wasted on unnecessary, ‘dodgy’, testing.

    At the same time, we couldn’t spend that kind of money testing problems now costing a billion- like m.bovis. Millions given away to Saudi Arabia on a ‘sheep deal’. $20 odd million on a new flag fiasco.

    Money laundering rules almost useless we learn today. A 1% strike rate.

    That National government really did not have a clue. Lest we forget.

    • ropata 2.1

      QFT

      At that time $22 million had been wasted on unnecessary, ‘dodgy’, testing.

      At the same time, we couldn’t spend that kind of money testing problems now costing a billion- like m.bovis.

      Because they were testing bludging beneficiaries not important job creating productive farmers and one of these groups happens to have political power and the other has none

      🙄

      • mac1 2.1.1

        Ropata wrote “Because they were testing bludging beneficiaries not important job creating productive farmers and one of these groups happens to have political power and the other has none.”

        And the National government cared little for the beneficiaries, and depends on the farmers for votes, financing and support.

        In my home town, there were over twenty HNZ homes shut up, and up for sale under National. Now, thirteen new HNZ homes are being built. The HNZ houses are no longer for sale.

        In December there were 78 on the social housing register, having increased from 18 over 4 years. Under National.

        A $3.6 million transitory housing project has just been opened, with 17 units. Under $200,000 per unit of good motel quality,with house for the property manager and a lot of land. To give credit, the previous government began this project, but only after huge and ‘relentless’ advocacy from a local woman, in conjunction with the Methodist Mission.

      • patricia bremner 2.1.2

        This current Government should name those businesses which benefited from Paula’s “mistake” Did she know/recommend them?

        So careless with our purse, Paula, while berating others wanting a small lift to their benefits!!

        Such sickening attitudes. Anyone put out of their homes under these faulty rules and downright bullying behaviour should have that reversed and they should have their name cleared.

        I say “bullying” because there was a power imbalance which was used by her.

        Quite wealthy people will be compensated for mbovis impacts, and we accept that, yet poor people were penalised for “mistakes” and “P” impacts and stigmatised.

        Well done Phil! No wonder they are bad mouthing you!! You are showing up their cruelty bigotry and bad interpretation of the science.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      That National government really did not have a clue.

      I suspect that they knew what was happening and encouraged it as it was making a profit for themselves and their donors.

      • mac1 2.2.1

        Draco T, I suspect you are right!

        My wording “didn’t have a clue” was not intended to exonerate National. They didn’t have a clue about government of the people for the people.

        Wouldn’t it be good to have our suspicions continue to be tested in the court of public opinion and come to be seen to be factual.

      • patricia bremner 2.2.2

        DTB, +111

  3. Antoine 3

    Well done Twyford and everyone else involved.

    A.

    • Antoine 3.1

      I always wondered if the anti-meth policy was driven by HNZ in arse-covering mode, worried that it would be held accountable for risks to tenant health under H&S legislation. Does anyone know if there is any plausibility to this?

      • ropata 3.1.1

        Zero plausibility, A desperate Nat ploy

      • mickysavage 3.1.2

        It was driven from the top of Government. There is no other explanation for the political glee for what was happening.

        • McFlock 3.1.2.1

          Pretty much.

          A positive meth test immediately made the cost of refurbishing the dwelling commercially stupid. And selling it at “as-is” prices ensured that the sale wouldn’t be enough to finance an equivalent replacement.

          Perfect “no fault” downsizing of HNZ.

      • Cinny 3.1.3

        Antoine, was reading some articles last night, one of the comments was particularly interesting.

        Apparently, according to the comment, the prior meth testing standards were set by a committee made up of ESR Scientists (who weren’t listened to), Meth testing and de-contamination companies (dodgy asking them for advice) and Housing NZ (get the tenants out we’ve state asset houses to sell off).

        Edit… found the comment and article…

        “NZ Standards came out with a new standard in January. NZS 8510:2017 is where we find the numbers that Gluckman correctly debunks.

        The committee setting the standard was made up of people from ESR, a test lab, the meth test/cleanup industry and Housing NZ. The ESR input was some thoroughly researched material that said pretty much the same as Gluckman’s report. It was pretty much the only “scientific” input into the standard setting process. It was largely ignored. ESR are scientists, not lobbyists so did not make a fuss.

        Standards could start by binning the current rubbish in NZS 8510:2017 – written by and for the cleanup and testing “industry”. If we must allocate any blame for the present nonsense it belongs to the NZ Standards Authority. They will no doubt have a way to cover their collective butts. ”

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/104287037/the-meth-house-is-a-myth-theres-no-risk-from-drug-smoking-residue-govt-report-finds

        • pat 3.1.3.1

          so the ESR guys knew the truth but said nothing??

          • Pat 3.1.3.1.1

            a new poster?….a different handle perhaps

          • NZJester 3.1.3.1.2

            I doubt they kept quiet because they wanted to, but were very likely hamstrung by the normal at the time National Party policy of legally gagging them from making comment under contracts they signed.

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    Oops!I My eyes have deceived me. Terry?

  5. dukeofurl 5

    This is only incidental to the news of the moral panic over P, but Gluckman is the Chief Science Advisor to the PM, he doesnt write the reports himself.

    They commission and release the reports, here is a link to the actual report
    http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/Methamphetamine-contamination-in-residential-properties.pdf

    The actual writers are credited here
    Research, analysis and writing was carried out by Dr Anne Bardsley and Dr Felicia Low of the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.

    I think we should appreciate and acknowledge their work.

    • Cinny 5.1

      Well said Duke. Thanks Dr Anne and Dr Felicia for your work.

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        Reading about those two superior women who have gone on to superior jobs for university trained women flying higher than disrespected women in the old days, makes me think about an old comedy routine by Peter Sellers.

        A young man from a leading family was so musically talented that the whole village was raising a fund to send him ‘to Rome, Paris, or anywhere’. I am sure that NZ is now too small for these talented advisors, they should be over there – in Britain perhaps. That might be now their next elevation in the moneyed milieu.

      • patricia bremner 5.1.2

        I think how families have been treated under tose rules… It is a scandal and Paula should face an inquiry.

        • Chris 5.1.2.1

          A lot of HNZ tenants wrongly kicked out of their homes ended up in motels for weeks and weeks, and having to pay the benefit advances back to Work and Income. The justification for this was that the tenant themselves caused the need for the emergency housing so the assistance became recoverable. Now that the meth testing crock has been exposed it’s clear that those required to pay back often tens of thousands of dollars should not have had to. Even without this meth palaver requiring beneficiaries to repay tens of thousands of dollars back as a result of meeting the criteria to receive hardship assistance under the Social Security Act is wrong. It’s especially wrong when the tenant was wrongly evicted. I hope advocacy groups go hard on this one.

  6. ianmac 6

    Noted on TV News last night that those who have businesses to “clean-up” P contamination are crying foul, and say testing and cleaning must continue. Will play on ignorance and fear? Surely not.

  7. adam 7

    So the people who were kicked out, then given huge bills. Will they get an apology at the least. Probably not. Compensation, yeah right. A state house to live in because they need it, now I’m dreaming mate, I’m dreaming.

    Tory politicians and their mates never apologise, or accept responsibility. Nor fix the giant messes they make.

    Can we arrest John Key yet?

    Funny some of the Tory supporters on this site have harped on the last few days about some people’s worries about paying out farmers, shouting – show some compassion, and governing for all.

    Here is a reality check – your lot did not govern for all, they did not show any compassion, and worst of all they punished rather than act in a civil manner.

    Like I said earlier, can we arrest John Key yet? It’s not literal proposition, but a point about morality. As we are being shown over and over – we had a government for 9 years who had no morality, just a ideology of hate. And one who gave up on Christianity, to worship the false idol of greed.

    • gsays 7.1

      While not against the idea of arresting politicians and putting before a jury, my concern is capacity.
      The mega prison has been scrapped, where would we put them all?
      Would there be a statute of limitations?
      In my short time walking the earth, I go back to Roger Douglas and the ‘reforms’ of the eighties.
      I understand Keith Holyoak(?) was involved in dodgy goings on around lake taupo, involving roading and private property…

      There is that chap who has had private prosecutions against prominent persons… a givealittle page perhaps.

  8. esoteric pineapples 8

    For some people, moral disgust at society and how it exists is an innate part of their being. So someone must be punished, always and at all times.

    • patricia bremner 8.1

      Failure to do the elected job’
      Causing harm to persons and reputations.
      Knowingly using incorrect facts to do that.
      Using huge amounts of public taxes to “prove” you are correct.
      Performing like a seal in Parliament.
      Wow just bloody Wow!!!

  9. I feel love 9

    Will go down as infamous as the dawn raids of the 70s/80s. Also ex Northland ex cop Nat MP was up to his neck in the meth scare panic & the drug testing business (when he wasn’t massaging pre pubescent girls necks that is). Making money off other peoples misery.

  10. Ad 10

    Looking forward to the government holding the previous Ministers to account in Parliament.

    Hopefully the story rolls for a while and we get to see the true extent of methamphetamine use in New Zealand rather than the usual media-driven stories about an impending rising tide.

    I would simply like a reality check across the entire system about methamphetamine after this.

  11. Adrian Landon-Lane 11

    Last year TV ( can’t remember which one ) revealed that the majority of the test scamming companies were owned by real estate agents.
    I have often railed about “provider capture “, this is a classic example.

  12. greywarshark 12

    I heard Tariana Turia this morning saying that compensation should be paid to those turfed out by NZHousing on the P spurious grounds. She pointed out that the reason the people were in NZ Housing homes was because they were needy and vulnerable. She said that probably they would not find a landlord anywhere else
    meaning they would not fit the criteria of the landlord or agent. She wondered where they would be living now as renting becomes ever harder.

    I think that Tariana is right. Not having housing makes you so vulnerable, it is taking an important factor in security and basic living standard away from a single person, and denying a family especially with young or disabled children, to a mockery of care from the government about enabling all to have necessities.

    But also when you are poor, having a ‘good’ name may be all you have, and what enables you to have pride in yourself, despite the apparently hateful and spiteful behaviour of authorities. It attacks the person’s own integrity and personal strength but also will affect her or him monetarily in different ways. Talk about kicking someone who is down! I despise people when they commit this violence on the street and in homes, and I carry the same feeling towards authority that is sadistic enough to commit this behaviour. Why do they do it – because they can!

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Wasn’t Tariana part of the National government that put this oppression in place?

      • Rosemary McDonald 12.1.1

        Good point.

        Tariana having to cough up dead rats. So that was that horrible noise coming from the radio this morning.

        She will, no doubt, argue yet again that it was better to be in government than in opposition and its all about making compromises. As long as whanau benefit.

        I’d like to see an actual measurement of how much Maori gained from the Maori Party’s deal with National.

        At a guess…sfa.

      • greywarshark 12.1.2

        DTB
        Aren’t you an integral part of this left-leaning blog? And don’t you constantly rail against capitalism and yet find that nothing much changes despite your best efforts. Yet you haven’t found a better blog to work through I note.

        About Tariana Turia. You know perfectly well that you go into a Party and you get the package. You may not like all the package, but you may go along anyway because you hope in the end you can do good in another way if the Party carries forward its promises to you. But then there is the problem that a policy may be carried out in a different way than what was presented when being explained and agreed to.

        So no potshots at Tariana, and all of us really. We are all doing our best in a fluid and uncertain situation; democratic politics involves uncertainty. Zlavoj Zizek said that it was difficult in Tito’s ‘westernised’ communism in Yugoslavia because it was often uncertain as the rules changed. Authoritarian politics is the one that is rigid and TINA, and we are trying to pull back judicially from that.

        • Rosemary McDonald 12.1.2.1

          “So no pot shots at Tariana…”

          I sincerely hope she appreciates your support. I used to be a Tariana cheerleader, until she and the other two MP members quite happily voted with National to deny basic rights and then,then denied doing so.

          Accordingly to my values if you are going to do something morally repugnant, the least you can do is a) remember doing it and b) be able to justify/explain to someone personally affected why you chose to behave in such a reprehensible fashion.

          • greywarshark 12.1.2.1.1

            Fair enough Rosemary. I think that people who have been slightly useful at least should get some recognition for that. I’ve been disappointed so often that the sight of a candle burning in the darkness is a lighthouse beacon for me.

        • Sabine 12.1.2.2

          can you kindly provide us with a list of whom we are allowed to take potshots at?

          Cause the Maori Party in its quest to be ‘in Government’ at all cost was part to the dehumanization of poor tenants in state housing that were vilified, evicted, presented as drug users or as drug pushers and who ended up in the Streets.

          I can not recall hearing anyone from the Maori Party and its representatives that were a support Party in the National Government from 2008 – 2016.

          So no, Tariana and her colleagues to a big part were part of the parcel that caused this human misery no matter how much she and her colleagues would like to deflect from this.

          • greywarshark 12.1.2.2.1

            Sabine
            You are so definite.. Thinking like a guillotine. This person has neglected things, done things, allowed things, in the past and should never be acknowledged as doing something good.

            can you kindly provide us with a list of whom we are allowed to [give praise and acknowledgment to] take potshots at?

    • bwaghorn 12.2

      If they compensate housing nz tenants then you will also have to compensate those private owners who spent $$$ fixing houses or selling them at a knocked down price.

      • patricia bremner 12.2.1

        bwaghorn, No,I don’t agree. Beneficiaries lost their home, their reputation and were charged with huge costs. They can not sue.
        The private person was duped so they can sue.

      • Sabine 12.2.2

        and everyone who spend money on having houses tested at great cost.

        Oh, nah, its not cows. Right?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 12.2.3

        you will also have to compensate those private owners

        Why? The facts were just as much in the public domain for them as they were for HNZ.

        Sure, Methcon et al lied to them, and maybe they have a case for fraud or unfair enrichment or breach of contract or whatever. But their negligence – believing the things companies owned by National Party affiliates or real estate agents say – will leave them wearing at least some of the costs and that isn’t our problem.

        My chief concern is that the Police have not announced an investigation into Paul Bennett et al’s malfeasance.

  13. It is a pity Peter Gluckman, as science advisor to John Key, did not speak out more
    forcefully at the time.

    Also it is a pity that nurses and teachers, quite rightly feeling they should be paid more,
    did not threaten strike action during the 9 years National were in power.

    • greywarshark 13.1

      It is a matter of strategy no doubt. The groups looking for change might have put out tentative feelers and been promised ‘all in good time’ or ‘we will have to cut down on nursing staff if we pay more out of what we have budgeted for you’.

      Gluckman may have noticed that the meth thing was not based on science at all,
      the presence of the drug in minute quantities was being used as an excuse of a ‘highland clearing’ from the government estate, so that they in gummint could make more profitable use from it. You can only talk science to people who are operating with their full, healthy brain. With RW people the brain has atrophied somewhat or largely.

      It would be interesting to try an experiment putting rogue capitalists under a scanner and say ‘key’ words like profit, gold, stock exchange, taxation then try cold, hunger, pneumonia, despair to them and watch various parts of the brain light up or remain immobile. Then try that with beneficiaries on the edge of total impoverishment. I would think that everything said to them would light their whole brain, because they are in such a state of stress about everything.

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    The country’s top scientists say New Zealand has been gripped by hysteria

    Was it the country or was it the politicians trying to stir up the population so as to make work and profit for their donors?

    But National and particularly Paula Bennett need to wear the opprobrium that a reality and science based analysis of the real situation is generating.

    They should be made to pay back the ~$100 million plus that they wasted.

  15. mickysavage 15

    I just found this Radio NZ interview from October 2016 where Dr Stuart Jessamine from the Ministry of Health talked about Housing Corporation “abusing” the guidelines and he reemphasised that the guidelines were ONLY for meth labs.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=201821439

    And look at this, Bill English announced a review of evictions for the presence of Meth in November 2016 but then backtracked …

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/317226/minister-backtracks-on-meth-eviction-review-comment

    • dukeofurl 15.1

      Thats right English was Minister for Housing NZ for a period after 2014 election. I think that was mainly so he could push the sell off of State houses.

      Are we able to pin this on him?

  16. Stuart Munro 16

    It wasn’t just a crock, it was a rort. And the government had to change to end it.

    The rort should see all the wrongdoers repaying their ill-gotten gains. The corruption of parliamentary processes that allowed it to continue also requires a review.

    The next one to look at is workplace drug testing. 95% of it is dysfunctional.

    • tc 16.1

      workplace drug testing on the C level and senior managers first please.

      If they’ve nothing to hide then they’ve nothing to fear so it shouldn’t be an issue. If not then they don’t get to subject the rest to it, simple as that.

      I mean they are pitched up as the socially responsible, accountable and transparent leaders on massive never at risk wedges of cash.

      • Stuart Munro 16.1.1

        Most senior managers performance isn’t sufficiently critical to merit drug testing.

        Surgeons – any loss of motor control is a big deal, and the medical profession, because of access and knowledge, is at increased risk.

        Passenger drivers, airline pilots and air traffic controllers. The rest is nonsense.

    • NZJester 16.2

      A rort that was taken advantage of by a large number of cowboy firms that set up business to cash in.
      A lot of those who owned the cleaning companies also owned the testing companies and there was an incentive because of that for them to find traces of meth. A lot of the testing done was also very unscientific with the same swab used to swab multiple locations when they are meant to use a different swab each time. They had people performing the tests who simply did not have the correct qualifications to be able to administer the test an make sure it was not contaminated by an outside source. As a result, the test results tended to be way higher than they should have been. The test also used had a reputation for giving false positives and a second more expensive test carried out correctly would be the only way to tell if it was a false positive or not. Some operators deliberately did some of the tests wrong to get more false positives to get more money for the more expensive test to be done.

  17. David Mac 17

    This truth will prompt disappointment right across the political spectrum.

    The family standing on the curb that didn’t need to leave after all and the owner looking at the receipts for pointless meth tests after every tenant departs and their inflated insurance premiums.

    Tenancy Tribunal adjudicators that have awarded millions of dollars of damages for non existent breaches. It’s over for businesses established to deliver a fairy tale service.

    It’s great that the truth about the danger of third party exposure has come to light. I think it’s important that this revelation doesn’t dilute the accepted dangers associated with first hand exposure. You don’t need to be a scientist to see the results of an addiction that stretches on. Gosh I struggled to recognise someone that seemed to know me really well the other day, eventually enlightened… they were a shell of what they once were.

  18. The Chairman 18

    It seems HNZ is rather culpable. Along with National’s seemingly poor oversight.

    Nevertheless, the concern here should be that this Government doesn’t make a similar mistake when setting new levels.

    With the Chief Science Advisor to the Government, Peter Gluckman, stating he wouldn’t be worried about “toddlers crawling around on the floor” until the meth residue reached the level of several hundred micrograms per 100cm2, surely the level HNZ has now adopted (15mcg per 100cm2) is still far too low.

    Therefore, one hopes the Government doesn’t settle on this extremely conservative level HNZ has adopted.

    It seems they (HNZ) will still be creating unnecessary costs and harm, hence the Government needs to also to act swiftly.

  19. ScottGN 19

    Paula Bennett on Checkpoint. Nothing to do with her…she’s just the minister following HNZ advice…etc, etc. How did we get lumbered with these fuckwits for so long?

  20. Incognito 20

    It seems Paula Bennett hasn’t paid enough attention to her former boss John Key who once said this:

    He’s one academic, and like lawyers, I can provide you with another one that will give you a counterview.

    Or maybe she has …

  21. Historian 21

    Only in New Zealand! If we can’t get a simple decision like this right, who can have any faith in policy on more complex areas?

  22. Ken 22

    The whole health and safety industry is an out of control monster.

  23. Ken 23

    If you’re interested in National’s involvement in this rort, google “Mike Sabin Methcon”

    • KD 23.1

      Methcon, surely the name of Mike Sabin’s business should have alerted all to his game!

  24. CalumB 24

    The myth played right into National’s ideology. It allowed them to demolish houses or blocks of apartments and sell off the land for redevelopment, and in the meantime leave people, vulnerable people, homeless.

  25. Timeforacup of tea 26

    Typical of our New Zealand scientists.
    Can’t even get sea level rises correct

  26. JustPassingThrough 27

    The whole meth thing is a crock.

    There is no epidemic.

    You don’t get hooked trying it just once.

    More people admitted to using cocaine and more than twice admitted to using MDMA (Ecstasy) in 2017 then to using meth, ffs.

    And yep, no one has ever been harmed from being in house where meth was smoked but plenty of people have been inconvenienced by not being able to buy effective cold medicines…

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Monday, June 24
    TL;DR: Responding to the grounding of the Aratere over the weekend, the Government has signalled it will buy new replacement ferries, but only enough to replace existing freight capacity.That would effectively limit Aotearoa-NZ’s ability to handle any growth in population or the need to reduce emissions by shifting freight from ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    53 mins ago
  • Greater Auckland 2.0 – we need your help!
    Hi, we’re Greater Auckland. We’ve been a part of the landscape for over 15 years now. Over that time, we’ve provided informed commentary, evidence-based analysis, and inspiring visions for the future of Tāmaki Makaurau. You might know us from such hits as: The Congestion-Free Network 2013 (and its 2017 ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 hours ago
  • Distractions and Inaction.
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 hours ago
  • KiwiRail aground while Government obfuscates
    The problems at KiwiRail go further and deeper than the maintenance issue, which caused the inter-island ferry Aratere to run aground on Saturday. The company is also the subject of a damning report published last week about the way it runs its rail operations from the Transport Accident Investigation Commission. ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 hours ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #25
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    13 hours ago
  • The Realm Of The Possible.
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    23 hours ago
  • Public Service Day
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    24 hours ago
  • When is a road of National significance not a road of National significance?
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 day ago
  • Fact Brief – Was the Medieval Warm Period a global event?
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  • Aotearoa Runs Aground
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  • Wagon keeps movin'
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Mainstreaming Māori
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    2 days ago
  • National says “fuck you”
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon is – Big in Japan
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 21-June-2024
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    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, June 21
    Our economic momentum remains anaemic, and it’s possible the tiny increase in GDP was a ‘dead cat bounce’. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Per-capita GDP has fallen 4.3% from its peak over the last 21 months, which is more than it it fell in the Global Financial Crisis recession ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Futility of Punishment
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • The new Beehive approach to the environment
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    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #25 2024
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    4 days ago
  • You take nicer pictures when you’re not drunk
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Cancer
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
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    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • The Stadium Debate – What About the Transport Options?
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    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 20
    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
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    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
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    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
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    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
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    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
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    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    7 days ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
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    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
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    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
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    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
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    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
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    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
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    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
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    1 week ago
  • All good, still
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The looting is the point
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
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    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
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    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Rage Bait!
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    52 mins ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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