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Meth Fries Housing NZ’s Brains

Written By: - Date published: 8:55 am, August 3rd, 2016 - 129 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, class war, drugs, housing, poverty, public services, welfare - Tags: , , ,

Housing NZ has admitted evicting state house tenants if even tiny amounts of meth contamination is found on the property.

It turns out the minimum reading needed to force homelessness on the people they are supposed to be housing is similar to the trace amounts found on your average five dollar bill. That being the case, I assume Sir Edmund Hillary’s face will be swiftly removed from our banknotes because of his proven association with P.

Seriously, folks, when Housing NZ admits that the testing regime is not fit for purpose, but they are going to rely on it anyway, heads need to roll. At the last count, the National Government had an entire cabinet full of Ministers avoiding responsibility for housing. Surely one of them must have enough brains to know that this hounding of the poor and working poor in a failed war on drugs is counter productive and cruel?

Housing NZ’s spokeswomble Charlie Mitchell said there was zero tolerance for illegal activity, but 100% tolerance for eviction without substantive cause, acknowledging that the meth guidelines it applied to its houses was never intended to assess the smoking of the drug and sheepishly admitting the testing was “not entirely suitable” .

Nevertheless, Mr Mitchell said the agency would continue to evict tenants in the meantime. Because it can.

“But as I say when people are using meth within our properties, and when we’re going through the appropriate steps to carry out testing … it’s appropriate for us to act on that.”

In effect, Housing NZ are saying that the fact that they decide to test at all is sufficient reason to evict. No evidence of actual use by the tenants is required.

Green Party MP Marama Davidson wants a moratorium on evictions to be considered until reliable testing is available.

“Testing for P (meth) is yet another way for the government to rid itself of its responsibility to provide state housing,” says Mrs Davidson.

She’s dead right. Even the private Real Estate industry can see the problem. But this is government department hell bent on doing the wrong thing, no matter what. And as such, they simply reflect the hopeless leadership of the many ministers currently promoting the business interests of private landlords in Aotearoa instead of tackling homelessness and the related drop in home ownership.

They answer is simple. Don’t evict state house tenants, evict the government.

 

129 comments on “Meth Fries Housing NZ’s Brains ”

  1. Sacha 1

    Someone needs to support a legal challenge against this ridiculous practice. Discussed recently on Public Address ass well: http://publicaddress.net/hardnews/this-is-crazy/

  2. save nz 2

    The government is evicting people from state houses, because it wants to sell them! Fairly obvious. Not only do they want to banish poor people but officials also seem to want to stop anyone even being able to live off their land.

    Personally think watching films like “this way of life” should be compulsory viewing for those forcing through legislation on property. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BflQ39tgomE

    There are different ways of living and the idea that everyone in NZ should be forced to live in warm dry expensive boxes paying a Body Corp, because the government and councils thinks so, runs counter to both Maori and the settler culture of NZ.

    Prosecuting people who live in a yurt, want to buy a piece of land and live on it affordably and build their own house, or like in this film/documentary what a family does to survive after a family rift makes them homeless.

    If they were not able to live off the land, in sheds and so forth, what would be the alternative, the family split up, kids put in CYPS or what have you. That approach destroys families.

    It is clear that there needs to be a less urban and ‘yuppie’ approach to housing and not making it illegal to live the way you want. People should be allowed some leeway to be able to survive on their own land or in the way they want to live.

    What is going to happen next, ban Marae’s and sell them because they are not built up to some Western building standard, which fails anyway aka leaky homes??

  3. Steve Withers 3

    This isn’t a ridiculous practice in every case.

    Here’s the scenario: you’re a landlord (HNZ or other) and you have meth-tested your property.

    It’s clean.

    Then, later, you do an annual meth test in the flat….and it’s not clean. So you test it again, more extensively (because that makes sense and it’s more accurate)…and it’s still not clean.

    Hmm….SOMEONE has been smoking meth in there on the present tenant’s watch. Maybe it was a plumber left alone for an hour or the property manager…who has the keys and knows the tenant is away….or maybe it was the tenant. Either way, the landlord has a duty to provide a safe residence…so may be at risk not just for remediation costs but also providing alternative accommodation for the tenants….however many there may be in however many homes affected.

    So….now what? The recent “Osaki” court case puts the property owner’s insurance on the hook for damages….even if intentional. Re-read those last 3 words. You can’t easily recover from the tenant for any intentional damage IF your insurance covers it.

    http://www.insurancebusinessonline.co.nz/nz/news/breaking-news/court-decision-out-of-step-with-how-insurance-operates-215171.aspx?keyword=osaki

    This is not trivial. I can easily understand landlords being on a hair-trigger. The costs to them are potentially enormous. They carry all the risk. HNZ operates thousands of rentals and often to the most problematic tenants.

    Absolutely testing needs to be done properly and limits established for safety that are clear and sufficient. But unless testing is done frequently – especially between tenants – there can be no hope of establishing when damage occurred or who was responsible (whether or not they actually did it).

    Meth is a huge problem for *everyone*…and there can’t be any tolerance of it by landlords or tenants or the wider public.

    • s y d 3.1

      To the best of my knowledge HNZ self insures their portfolio. There is no third party forcing them to behave in a particular way (except HM Govt).
      So for them to test for the presence of chemical residues, when there is currently no agreed testing regime or even whether the testing methods are in any way indicating use, is an excuse to end tenancy agreements, pure and simple.

    • RedLogix 3.2

      The costs to them are potentially enormous. They carry all the risk.

      And over time this risk is accumulative. Eventually it is almost inevitable that some tenant will render the house uninhabitable. And often they’ll be the ‘affordable’ ones at the low end of the market.

      The numbers are staggering. Slowly but surely NZ’s housing stock is being eroded away out of the reach of ordinary people. This cannot have a happy ending.

    • Hmm….SOMEONE has been smoking meth in there on the present tenant’s watch. Maybe it was a plumber left alone for an hour or the property manager…who has the keys and knows the tenant is away….or maybe it was the tenant. Either way, the landlord has a duty to provide a safe residence…so may be at risk not just for remediation costs but also providing alternative accommodation for the tenants….however many there may be in however many homes affected.

      And if the landlord tests for tobacco, he may well find someone has been smoking tobacco in there on the tenant’s watch. This is a problem for the landlord how, exactly? The toxic chemicals in tobacco or meth pose no safety risk unless they’re in very high concentrations, which is unlikely. Even in an ex-meth lab the threat to safety is mostly from the chemicals used in manufacturing meth.

      Basically, it’s a scam. There’s no more need for “remediation” of meth “contamination” than there is for tobacco “contamination,” but some scammers are making a good living out of it. Housing NZ have had this pointed out to them, including by toxicology experts, but they’re still using it to kick out tenants and keep houses empty. Their motive for doing something so stupid and cruel isn’t obvious, but given the nature of the current government I’d look for a malicious motive driven by the Minister.

      • b waghorn 3.3.1

        “Their motive for doing something so stupid and cruel isn’t obvious, but given the nature of the current government I’d look for a malicious motive driven by the Minister.”
        To my eye it’s very clear it’s about giving their (nationals) believers someone to hate. And how they hate the poor , the unfortunate and the week.

      • weston 3.3.2

        Totally agree meth testing a scam and these houses that have to have all the jib an everything ripped out and replaced is crazy Everyone knows smoking the shit can be bad for you and maybe depending on your metabolism and personal circumstances very bad but yr house ??!! Being a new industry every cowboy an his dog will be rushing to climb on the gravy train before too much is known about the ACTUAL risks of living in a “CONTAMINATED” house .
        anyone know how much it costs for these “tests “?

        • gnomic 3.3.2.1

          HNZ of course has a contract with some firm to do these tests, as i understand it nationwide. It’s about $3,000 to get the man in. This involves a testing person in a coverall suit and a goon to provide security. They can’t just walk in, some notice is required. Tenants can refuse entry at least initially, and get time to wash down walls and surfaces. I think if they say no to testing too many times they get the hard word they may be ejected on that basis.

          Tenants are informed that illegal drug use will jeopardise the tenancy. ‘Not even once’ is the slogan. Actually I think there is to be no illegal activity in HNZ properties strictly speaking.

          In practise it seems they don’t care about pot but are hostile to P. Primarily because of the costs that may be involved probably.

          From personal experience the P people are not good neighbours. Antisocial rules mkay? No need to be neighbourly when you are a godlike being at least according to meth running around your brain.

          • weston 3.3.2.1.1

            Yeah fuck im well aware some meth users can be real trouble !!!.So from what you say it seems people who do use meth in hnz homes prob have some ability to camoflage their activities and delay tests ? I wonder how many people who have been evicted then have been totally innocent or too dumb to know there were strategies to deal with the threat ?

    • Lanthanide 3.4

      1. The residue from smoking meth is generally far too low to be harmful to health. Perhaps if people were 24/7 smoking in one particular room, that room might be unsafe.

      2. Yes, if the landlord / HNZ actually had initial reports showing the house was clean, then your scenario makes logical sense (in terms of criminality, rather than health risks). However, in at least one case, one of the people using temporary motel accommodation who was reported in the media a couple of months ago was kicked out of her HNZ house because it tested positive for meth, when it was later confirmed that she nor anyone she had responsibility for had been smoking meth in the house. It seems it was the previous tenants. But she her 12 month suspension continued anyway, forcing her to use temporary motel accomodation and rack up a debt that she would never repay.

    • Sacha 3.5

      But unless testing is done frequently – especially between tenants – there can be no hope of establishing when damage occurred or who was responsible (whether or not they actually did it).

      But HNZ is not testing between tenants. Must make evictions legally challengeable.

      • Anna 3.5.1

        I can’t understand why the evictions are not challengeable. Are state houses not covered by the Tenancy Tribunal?

    • Anno1701 3.6

      “Meth is a huge problem for *everyone*…and there can’t be any tolerance of it by landlords or tenants or the wider public.”

      absolute f*#king hysteria , Its just an inert chemical compound mate NOT the four horseman of the bloody apocalypse…

      you understand people willingly inhale this stuff into there lungs dont you ?

      Where are all the bodies from meth users dropping dead from that “toxic residue”

      • Chuck 3.6.1

        Anno1701 says “Where are all the bodies from meth users dropping dead from that “toxic residue”

        I suggest you go and visit some meth users Anno1701, while they are not “dropping dead” they are in poor physical and mental health. The degree depends on how long they have been using.

        Meth is a horrible and very dangerous drug.

        • Anno1701 3.6.1.1

          you ever smoked meth Chuck ?

          I have, on a number of occasions in fact ( cue clutched pearls )

          your talking out a hole on your head

          yes it a potential drug of addiction , but just like me 95% of casual users have no long term issues AT all

          you need to lean the difference between casual use and chronic abuse

    • Anno1701 3.7

      “Hmm….SOMEONE has been smoking meth in there on the present tenant’s watch”

      hmmm maybe someone has been using one of the per-cursor chemicals to produce meth ( all pretty common un-restricted chemicals) in the cleaning process , which has created a false positive reading

      much more likely…..

    • doc 3.8

      the smoking of meth in a house hold has been proven to have no more ill effects than say the smoking of cigarettes, but those with self interests will trot out this fallacy time and again, even though they know the truth. Of cause the manufacture of meth with the array of dangerous chemicals is a different matter, but hey dont’let the truth get in the way of a good story….. the ends justify the means, or what ever.

    • The New Student 3.9

      The whole point of “meth testing” (as is in the guidelines) is to check the levels of the residues left behind from a P lab. And Not just meth itself, all the other ingredients and by-products too. Decon is needed to clean up an actual P lab. Not to remove random trace amounts that may or may not have been left behind by a recreational smoker or by chance. But the suckers buy into this because it’s easy to tarnish low income people as useless druggies, it’s easy to wring them out of what little they have, and it’s more convenient to sell off that state house anyway. Wilful ignorance at best, malicious intent most likely. Sickening

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    So where’s the auditor general?

  5. Michelle 5

    It is what it is another petty reason for them not to provide social housing to those that need it most. Pull the benefit said she didn’t want all those state houses really! they ain’t her houses they belong to all of us who the hell does she think she is.

  6. Richardrawshark 6

    Two of Nationals Leading MP’s one the PM the other Paula Benett came from state housing, sadly they have seen obviously things that formed an opinion of state tenants early in their lives as children and have formed predjudices against those very people.

    Now they have gained authoritive powers they are exacting their belief system.

    It’s extremely sad, it’s extremely bias, and extremely low brow and unintelligent from them. A person of higher intelligence would know these people have issues hence why they are in state housing. Also the time they were in state housing it was a rort with families working and claiming state housing.

    Times changed, their bias did not, nor did their ability to use public misconceptions to gain power.

    This is why I sincerely believe they should be dragged through the streets and hung like Musolini, History shows us what pandering to anger and hatred brings us, the second world war had a lot of it, and if we don’t stop the likes of Trump, the phillipines PM our PM, and P Bennett we will get it again.

    targeting vulnerable people in society should be a crime. IMHO.

    • Gangnam Style 6.1

      Mike Sabin came to prominence in NZ helping promote the P scare hysteria, while he was MP he tried to get GOVT to test ALL school children for drugs. Again, there is a lot of money to be made from the misery of others.

    • Anno1701 6.2

      “Paula Benett came from state housing, ”

      classic example of a class traitor….

    • srylands 6.3

      I think you are mistaken. The Government is selling state houses because it wants to help poor people. In fact I recall the PM saying so.

      The Government wants to expand the numbers of providers of social housing with the aim of more people getting into social housing.

      Tenants want security, and a safe warm house. They don’t care whether that is provided by HNZ, the Salvation Army, or Alibaba China Limited.

      Is your concern driven by a misunderstanding of the policy, or some blind misguided faith in the value of the State owning businesses? If it is the former, perhaps we can do better explaining the policy. If the latter, I will give up.

      • Anno1701 6.3.1

        “They don’t care whether that is provided by HNZ, the Salvation Army, or Alibaba China Limited.”

        Just plain bullshit…..

        • maninthemiddle 6.3.1.1

          So you’ve done a survey then?

          • Anno1701 6.3.1.1.1

            “So you’ve done a survey then?”

            no need, common sense dictates its BS

            which it appears you may be lacking in chronically

            • maninthemiddle 6.3.1.1.1.1

              So you have zero evidential basis for your claim. And you seem to be suggesting that a homeless person would refuse accomodation because it was owned by a social housing provider. Muppet.

              • Anno1701

                “so you have zero evidential basis for your claim”

                if you paid attention, you would have noticed i was ACTUALLY refuting someone elses baseless claim

                sharpen up you clown……

                • maninthemiddle

                  You refuted a claim, yet gave no evidence for your own opinion. Muppet.

                  • Anno1701

                    refer to “common sense” comment at the beginning of this sorry exchange…

                    stop wasting my time….

                    • maninthemiddle

                      {“They don’t care whether that is provided by HNZ, the Salvation Army, or Alibaba China Limited.”

                      Just plain bullshit…..}

                      You have made an assertion you now cannot support.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Let’s see: Anno1701 asserted that common sense dictates that a statement made by an extreme far-right sophist is BS.

                      Yep, there’s plenty of evidence to support that, from the sophist’s effluent on this forum alone.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Let’s see:”…

                      Srylands asserted “They don’t care whether that is provided by HNZ, the Salvation Army, or Alibaba China Limited.”

                      To which Anno asserted “Just plain bullshit…”

                      Anno needs to front up with some evidence that tenants actually care who owns the house they rent. All he’s done so far is run.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      In fact, the public purse bludger S Rylands made the assertion, and is the one who must a: support it, and then b: explain how it affects whether or not the government should provide services, which is not the same as owning businesses.

          • Stuart Munro 6.3.1.1.2

            Ho – distraction much?

            The assertion is untestable because after nine years in government this worthless troupe of hebephrenic buffoons has not persuaded the Salvation Army or Alibaba China to build a single house.

            So any claim that they have policy in the sector is moot.

            • maninthemiddle 6.3.1.1.2.1

              There are significant numbers of houses provided by NGO’s as social housing. That is the way of the future, where smaller organisations provide the social housing stock when and where it is needed.

              • Stuart Munro

                Rubbish.

                This is what you get when a dishonest and irresponsible government tries to abandon its responsibilities.

                And how do you reconcile the Gnats’ incessant dishonesty with anything other than a swift trip to prison?

                You are grasping at straws almost as ineffectually as Nick Smith.

                • maninthemiddle

                  The government pays for the rental of the social housing, without having the capital outlay. How is that ‘abandoning it’s responsibilities?’ What is wrong with NGO’s providing housing? After all this is nothing new. NGO’s have provided housing to supplement government supply for decades.

        • srylands 6.3.1.2

          It is not bullshit.

          I have rented apartments where I don’t have a clue who owns it. Deal with an agent.

          If you are poor, and you are offered a quality home, with security of tenure, and it is affordable, why on earth do you care who owns it? You care about the house and you certainly care whether the people you need to deal with are nice to you. That’s it.

          I expect over the next three terms of government that there will be a progressive exit of the Government from owning properties. The focus will be on contracting for quality social housing and dealing with vulnerable tenants through the investment approach. If you want both good outcomes and value for money, there is no alternative.

          So I call bullshit on your bullshit. By 2023 this game will be over.

          • Stuart Munro 6.3.1.2.1

            Lying toady of the vile far-right kleptocracy…

            The poor are not beng offered “quality homes with security of tenure” – they are being booted from existing marginal housing and there is nowhere to go.

            There’s as much bullshit in you as is being discharged into our ‘clean green’ rivers.

            There’s certainly a shake-up coming – but the real one will be to purge corruption from the public service, including parliament. This government is beneath contempt.

          • s y d 6.3.1.2.2

            srylands got your quota of jargon in today eh….

            social (state) housing is now a government ‘business’

            government is expanding the number of providers (not houses mind you)

            oh and focus on ….’vulnerable tenants’ through investment approach.

            bonus score for ‘there is no alternative’, and oldy but a goody.

            excellent work. 12.5 points to Srytherin

          • Anno1701 6.3.1.2.3

            “I have rented apartments where I don’t have a clue who owns it’

            oh ok, yeah im happy to take your anecdotal “evidence” as wrote

            im clearly wrong

            pffffttt…..

          • maninthemiddle 6.3.1.2.4

            Beautifully put.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.3.2

        In fact I recall the PM saying so.

        Ah, yes, the Liar in Chief. I’m pretty sure he was lying then too. He exists for one reason only – to make the rich richer and he can’t do that by supporting poor people.

        They don’t care whether that is provided by HNZ, the Salvation Army, or Alibaba China Limited.

        I’m pretty sure you’ll find that they do. Same as people stopping buying from Israel or Talleys. They’re exercising their market power to help bring about positive change.

        And more and more people are aware of just how damaging privatisations of government services are.

        • srylands 6.3.2.1

          People that boycott Israel are scum. Israel is a beacon.

          • Psycho Milt 6.3.2.1.1

            Er, what? Are you feeling alright?

          • Stuart Munro 6.3.2.1.2

            A beacon of mass murder and genocide of Palestinian children.

            • Chuck 6.3.2.1.2.1

              You must be referencing Hamas then…lets put a weapons cache next to this nice looking school or hospital etc.

              • adam

                What nice looking school or hospital?

                You mean to tell me their are some schools and hospitals still looking good in Gaza.

                You going to need some photos please chucky.

              • In Vino

                And I can remember rightie dumbies complaining when Labour closed down military operations from Whenuapai. No different from any other ‘human shield’ argument. With Whenuapai as a military base, Auckland became a nuclear target.. But it’s OK when our side do it…

                • Chuck

                  Maybe you have had one too many glasses of wine In Vino?

                  The example you have just given is so far off the mark its not even remotely related..

                  At least adam in his reply tried a little humor…although in very bad taste.

                  Please try again…

                  • In Vino

                    Sorry, Chuck, but the parallel is valid. At the time, Sadam in Iraq was being virulently accused of using human shields. I reckon that putting a military airbase right in the country’s biggest city constitutes the same thing. And you are using the same old human shield propaganda for Gaza. Boring.

                    • Chuck

                      You do know that Whenuapai airbase was built in 1937 under the first Labour Government. No doubt they had good reason to locate it where they did.

                      It still is a air force airbase.

                      Last time I checked NZ was not firing rockets (nor do we have any!) at its neighbor…hence we should not expect our rocket sites and ammo dumps to be bombed (if we had any).

                      Jump to Hamas, they locate rocket sites, ammo dumps etc. directly next to, or in schools, hospitals. Hamas have no problem with putting their own children, brothers and sisters in direct danger.

                      Hamas do this on purpose…they have no morals killing there own people. Its all to get a headline…

              • Stuart Munro

                It takes a truly spectacular level of inhumanity to even look for justifications for bombing working schools and hospitals.

                • Chuck

                  “It takes a truly spectacular level of inhumanity to even look for justifications for bombing working schools and hospitals.”

                  Then you would agree its 100x worse to have ones own military (terrorist) arm locate rocket and ammo sites next to or in schools and hospitals in the first place.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    No.

                    I will not follow you down that primrose path – bombing is not effectual – except in IED assassinations. Guernica did not surrender, Dresden did not surrender, Tokyo did not surrender, Hiroshima neither surrendered nor triggered surrender (that was the Russian rejection of Japan’s offer of conditional surrender and entry to the pacific war).

                    One may place one’s troops anywhere one likes within one’s own country, and if a foreign power chooses to bomb schools and hospitals the responsibility for that war crime rests entirely on the bombing nation.

          • joe90 6.3.2.1.3

            Israel is a beacon.

            Beacons don’t employ spiritual advisers who infer to their combatants rape and sexual assault is a legitimate war time tactic nor do beacons emulate their enemies by encouraging their combatants to wage spiritual warfare and beacons certainly don’t arbitrarily seize their neighbours antiquities, cultural artifacts and heritage.

            http://972mag.com/idf-colonel-rabbi-implies-rape-is-permitted-in-war/39535/

            http://www.haaretz.com/idf-rabbinate-publication-during-gaza-war-we-will-show-no-mercy-on-the-cruel-1.268849

            http://alt-arch.org/en/press-release-rockefeller-museum-petition-july-2016/

          • Draco T Bastard 6.3.2.1.4

            Israel is an invasion of Palestine enabled through brute force oppression and looking the other way by the international community.

        • srylands 6.3.2.2

          “And more and more people are aware of just how damaging privatisations of government services are.”

          They might be “aware” but they are deluded. So you really think that the Government needs to own power companies? LOL.

          I suggest you read (or read again) Roger Kerr’s work.

          http://nzinitiative.org.nz/shop/Library+by+type/Privatisation+Myths+Need+To+Be+Busted.html

          • framu 6.3.2.2.1

            “I suggest you read (or read again) Roger Kerr’s work.”

            AAA HA HA HA

            one of your better jokes

          • Draco T Bastard 6.3.2.2.2

            They might be “aware” but they are deluded. So you really think that the Government needs to own power companies?

            No, I don’t think that there should be power companies. Power should be a government service the same as roads as a) it’s a natural monopoly (there’s no difference in the ‘product’), b) a necessity for life and thus a human right and c) corporations carry the dead-weight loss of profit within them making the provision of power a loss making exercise for the country.

            I suggest you read (or read again) Roger Kerr’s work.

            Why would I want to read anything from that psychopath? He was obviously wrong about everything except how to get rich by screwing over everyone else as reality has shown time and time again:
            http://www.neweconomics.org/blog/entry/mythbusters-the-private-sector-is-more-efficient-than-the-public-sector
            http://theconversation.com/pursuing-efficiency-in-the-public-sector-why-privatisation-is-not-necessarily-the-answer-13142

            There is a common misconception that the private sector is inherently more efficient at the provision of public services. But this is not supported by theory or evidence.

            My bold.

          • Stuart Munro 6.3.2.2.3

            Worst public outcome ever ‘privatising’ them. But what the thieving assholes of the extreme right do, an honest government can undo. We want our power companies back. And we shall have them.

          • Chris 6.3.2.2.4

            Roger Kerr? He would’ve privatised breathing if he’d had the chance.

          • Chris 6.3.2.2.5

            Can’t you see that passing the delivery of electricity to the private sector means higher prices (and everything that comes with that including widespread poverty) because of the insatiable desire to return profits to shareholders? There’s simply no value added. The whole arrangement rests on a fiction.

            What’s wrong with government delivering electricity on a cost-recovery basis? Surely that’s the best model for the provision of such a basic core service?

      • framu 6.3.3

        ” If it is the former, perhaps we can do better explaining the policy”

        of you go then – try and prove the govts policy will guarantee the creation of a single extra house for the poor

        (still waiting for you to prove how a 100% private road scheme works in practice – youve scurried away from that one as well)

      • Sacha 6.3.4

        ” They don’t care whether that is provided by HNZ, the Salvation Army, or Alibaba China Limited.”

        They do care whether or not it exists. We’ve all seen what the ‘housing market’ does for poor people, thanks.

      • Stuart Munro 6.3.5

        No – the government is stealing and selling state houses because a corrupt establish allows them do so. Briefly.

        They are determined to wreck as much as possible of the state sector so that their fatuous belief that the state can do nothing is validated.

        They should be on performance pay – they owe us about 240 billion in losses and growth foregone in pursuit of their failed policies.

      • gnomic 6.3.6

        Yes!! Please give up. Then go away and die. Make the world a better place. Improve the gene pool.

        After all, someone so stupid as to believe the smirking weasel wants to help poor people should not be wasting oxygen.

    • James 6.4

      “This is why I sincerely believe they should be dragged through the streets and hung like Musolini”

      I cannot believe that nobody challenged this.

      There is no justification for this.

      [Quite right. There are two s’s in Mussolini. I trust Richardrawshark will get the spelling right next time. TRP]

      (And, yes, calls for violence are not really acceptable here at TS. But neither is insincere concern trolling. TRP)

  7. Sabine 7

    well i guess they have been told that houses are easier to sell if they are empty.
    and this current National Party led government has only one purpose in life and that is to rid this country of state owned assets by selling these assets to the highest bidder cause ‘free market’.

    ahh, what would the ‘free market’ do without the government selling them our stuff for a wet handshake and the pull of a ponytail.

    • save nz 7.1

      @ Sabine +1 but feel the goal is not for the government to sell to the highest bidder, but to get crony consultancy fees and ‘donations’ from the asset sales for them and their cronies, and milk asset sales for themselves as much as they can.

      They have found an area that does not seem to affect their voter base (i.e. beneficiaries) and are drumming up all manner of excuses for why they are homeless (P use) and diverting attention on why NZ is doing a u turn of it’s very foundations of social welfare and turning us into some sort of quasi US/China welfare state. Yes, Kiwis do care that people live in cars, pity it has been quashed a bit by the left then rushing around trying to tell everyone what to do with their houses in the media such as the unitary plan for more houses and crashing house prices, which pushes public sentiment away from the real issues and agenda of the Natz.

  8. Gangnam Style 8

    If they that worried about criminal activity, are the police involved? & up above talking about ‘potential costs’, an evicted tenant was billed $30,000+ for her test, 600 houses have been tested, 200 ‘positive’, how much actual costs does that add up too? Not counting emergency housing costs when these people still need a place to live etc…

    As well as the scientist who said if houses were contaminated with P they would be crawling with addicts licking the walls. It’s a sham, more corporate welfare as some private company is laughing it’s arse off with how stupid HNZ is, unless it is on purpose and it’s just yet another way to punish the poor.

  9. Augustus 9

    The war on drugs became the war on the poor on the same day it was allowed that potential employees could be drug tested for minimum wage jobs. What could they possibly be impaired in doing? Zero tolerance policies are in most cases a cheap cop-out also, there is always tolerance for the “deserving”, ie everyone got over Prince Harry trying cocaine. State house tenants – not so much.

    You’re right, they do it because they can and because its acceptable to pick on the poor, the undeserving, the others. Divide and rule.

    • Anno1701 9.1

      Just more class warfare…..

      • Gangnam Style 9.1.1

        To paraphrase a judge in the TV series The Night Of “To do rich peoples time you have to do rich people crime”.

    • b waghorn 9.2

      Work place drug testing has it’s place , you don’t want the guy on the chainsaw or in the digger next to you stoned, your life depends on him paying attention

      • Anno1701 9.2.1

        “Work place drug testing has it’s place”

        maybe if it was reliable or effective AT all

        those test are very easy to circumvent, in fact so easy as to be pointless….

        thats not taking into consideration all the false positives ( took some ibuprofen last night for that sore shoulder ? Potential false positive for cannabis ) and the fact they dont test for impairment , only use

        total waste of time and money ..

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2

        My nephew was telling me about a guy at his work who got fired on the firms ‘zero tolerance’ of drugs policy. Thing is, he’d never taken recreational drugs, except alcohol, in his life. What had happened was that he went to a party where others were smoking and he’d got some of the second hand smoke. This had remained in his system to be picked up by the test.

        Of course, they didn’t fire any one who had taken alcohol. If they did then I suspect that they’d have to fire everybody including themselves.

        The test shouldn’t just be for drugs but for incapacity.

        • te reo putake 9.2.2.1

          The current problem is that there is no NZ standard for drug testing and we default to urine testing, which does not show impairment. It will, however, show that you smoked a joint as few days ago.

          Saliva testing is far more accurate and time based, but the testing companies make more money on urine tests, so that’s what they push.

          In essence, we test workers for moral failings, not impairment.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2.1.1

            we test workers for moral failings

            We’re not even doing that as taking recreational drugs isn’t immoral.

            • te reo putake 9.2.2.1.1.1

              Quite right! I should have said ‘perceived’ moral failings.

              “Urine tests! Our pioneer ancestors would piss in their graves at the thought of urine tests to decide whether a man is competent to do his job. The measure of competence is performance. When told that General Grant was a heavy drinker, Lincoln said: “Find out what brand of whiskey he drinks, and distribute it to my other generals.”

              William S. Burroughs (who knew a thing or two about drugs).

        • Psycho Milt 9.2.2.2

          Of course, they didn’t fire any one who had taken alcohol. If they did then I suspect that they’d have to fire everybody including themselves.

          Yes. The utter stupidity and hypocrisy of it would be comical, if it weren’t for the appalling real-world effect on actual people.

      • weston 9.2.3

        Nah plenty of people are quite used to the effects of various drugs and you would never know if they were stoned or not its more to do with the skill level of opperators whether you are in danger from them or not .

        • b waghorn 9.2.3.1

          What a load of shit.

          • weston 9.2.3.1.1

            Are you sumarizing ALL the replies to your straightsville comment on drugs testing or just mine wags ?

            • b waghorn 9.2.3.1.1.1

              Just yours buddy , and as for straights ville it’s a place I’ve only lived in for the last few years.
              I tell you what happens in the real world when there is drug testing, people either get clean enough to pass the test or cheat it( i know a little about cheating drug tests) but because they know that if they are involved in an incident they will be tested they tend to work straight .

              • weston

                Fair enough i guess the worlds a changing place im not sure progress is actually always getting us to a better place though !!

    • indiana 9.3

      “The war on drugs became the war on the poor”

      Drugs are expensive right? Only the rich should be able to afford drugs and if that’s the case, why are rich people occupying state housing and contaminating them?

      • framu 9.3.1

        please confirm your “taking the piss” with that comment

        • In Vino 9.3.1.1

          Grrr! Please write ‘you are’ in full. Your confusion of “your” with “you’re” made that sentence ambiguous and a big hiccup in rapid reading.

          • framu 9.3.1.1.1

            oh for gods sake – are you going to stalk me for every single error in typing?

            its not that hard to get the gist of what im saying – get over it

      • joe90 9.3.2

        Drugs are expensive right?

        Anecdotally, thanks to the entrepreneurship of new Kiwis, there’s a glut – @ < $600/gram – < $80/point coupled with an up in purity making for damn cheap weekends for two on the fries.

        • Anno1701 9.3.2.1

          “an up in purity ”

          that’s because we are getting pure shard straight from the labs in china now, rather than the bathtub stuff previously , The Asian syndicates have decided to cut the outlaw bikers out of the picture , they are seen as a liability

          possibly even north korean meth is now hitting our shores

      • Lloyd 9.3.3

        Actually drugs aren’t as expensive as you think if you aren’t regularly in the market and base you valuation on the prices reported in the MSM. These prices are always from a NZ Customs or more likely a Police press release. The value of the drugs is always based on the highest price paid by a purchaser at the bottom of the distribution pyramid. Most regular users work their way up this pyramid and don’t buy at maximum “retail” price. That “$2million” drug bust you read about would probably only ever produce $750,000 on the street and might only get $500,000 at the most for the importer, if he/she was lucky. It is in the interest of both the importer and the Police/Customs to inflate the real price of drugs. Makes the cops look important and it keeps the price of the drugs up on the street for the importers.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    In effect, Housing NZ are saying that the fact that they decide to test at all is sufficient reason to evict.

    The only test that should give HNZ the power to evict people is one in front of a jury. After all, as the RWNJs are quick to remind us when it’s their people caught doing illegal things, people are innocent until proven guilty.

  11. Gangnam Style 11

    Meth test the Beehive.

    • Sabine 11.1

      highest bidder is what ever they want it to be.
      +1

      every law maker, every cop, every teacher, every council worker, everyone working for AT and Fulton Hogan, every one in the military, in short everyone who receives taxpayers funds should be randomly tested for drugs at least once every week beginning with the PM, his speaker and his ministers. 🙂

      the tests have to be made public on the heralds front page. 🙂

  12. adam 12

    Miriama Davidson, you rock.

    Once again someone who actually would do well as a minister rather than the rubbish we are currently burdened with.

    Someone who would actually hold a ministry to account.

    Am I the only one who is sick to death of a government with ministers who can’t do their jobs?

    Housing has shown over and over again the utter lack of skill and ability to actually run a government.

    • indiana 12.1

      “Am I the only one who is sick to death of a government with ministers who can’t do their jobs?”

      Are you equally sick to death of individuals taking personal responsibility?

      • b waghorn 12.1.1

        Yes you’re right it’s about time a national minister took personal responsibility for their multiple failings in housing, of which using a flawed testing system to punish innocent people is only one of.

      • framu 12.1.2

        quite right – its about time operators in the meth testing industry stopped running a business model based on improper testing standards that suck money out of tenants, landlords, buyers and sellers

        you were talking about personal responsibility?

      • adam 12.1.3

        The minister should take personal responsibility for their job, yes I agree that is the way to run a government under this model. And this is just another case of a government whose minister do not take personal responsibility for their actions.

  13. UncookedSelachimorpha 13

    This policy is just another iteration of “blaming the poor for being poor”, the popular theme song of the neoliberal.

  14. The New Student 14

    Meth testing is to determine if the dwelling is suitably decontaminated, because it was actually an operational meth/P lab. Not because somebody might have smoked the stuff or snorted some Vicks at one time. Look it up. That’s where the magical figure of 0.5 ug per 100 cm2 comes from. Funnily enough, this is the minimum amount able to be detected by most “in-field” methods. Everyone knows that anything at the extremes of effective range/sensitivity is most likely unreliable. Yet we still buy into this “meth testing” garbage. Why?

    Also, it’s common practice by these “meth testing” companies to offer a “test” that uses the same single swab to sample multiple areas. Which is a false representation. If I did that at work id be fired for incompetence. Well ok, reprimanded, maybe written warning and certainly performance managed…

  15. ianmac 15

    I wonder why they test any particular house?
    Cause for suspicion?
    A particular tenant they want rid of?
    Want to sell the house?
    Want to provide work/contracts to mates to refurbish houses whether they need it or not?

    • Gangnam Style 15.1

      Was thinking that too, how do they decide which house to test, would be interested to know.

    • gnomic 15.2

      In many cases deciding to test may be a result of complaints by neighbours who are tired of persistent antisocial behaviour and have observed use of illegal substances, complete neglect of the terms of the tenancy, drug dealing, domestic violence, abuse of neighbours, neglect of children (putting it mildly), damage to the property, and just generally an apparent belief by tenants they can do whatever the hell they like without consequences. Did I mention the visits by patched gang members? Abandoning the property for months on end while on walkabout as meanwhile sundry scum use it as a motel for weeks on end? Leaving rotting food remnants stinking on the property? Some people really deserve to be renting in the private sector.

      Testing for P may well be a pretext by Housing NZ to get shot of people who don’t appreciate or deserve the privilege of ‘social housing’ formerly known as state housing. But perhaps a justifiable one.

      Testing for P is probably a scam in the main unless there has been major cooking in a property. And it seems the trend is for P to arrive in manufactured form these days fresh from Asia. It can can also be mixed up in a plastic bottle now or so I read, perhaps not a primo product but adequate for an addict, and not leaving many traces.

      Overall perhaps not too much hysteria over P tests is required. Why not focus on the National party plan to demolish state housing? How come it requires three ministers these days, two of them hopeless incompetents, and the other dedicated to ridding the state of any responsibility for housing the poor?

  16. ianmac 16

    Good idea above somewhere, to get swabs taken in Parliament. Might look a bit odd for someone to surrpticiously swab a wall or two, but if HC houses can be apparently below par for little cause, then what a blow to the Minister if the House is also a “fail.”

    • srylands 16.1

      You seriously think that folk are smoking P in Parliament Buildings? ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

      • McFlock 16.1.1

        Must get a few thousand people from a variety of backgrounds through it every day.

        So there would probably be a trace or two somewhere in the building, even just a contact contamination.

        Use the same swab, did the trace come from the front door handle or the PM’s desk? No way to tell…

      • joe90 16.1.2

        ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

        As evidenced by the steady procession through the courts of professionals facing charges, meth is the substance of choice at the top end of town so I reckon it would be miraculous had meth never been smoked in Parliament buildings.

        • Draco T Bastard 16.1.2.1

          +1

          We’d probably pick up heroin and cocaine as well.

        • whispering kate 16.1.2.2

          Joe90 snorting cocaine more likely, I would have thought that was their drug of choice. It’s the rich lister’s choice for fun time.

      • Sacha 16.1.3

        How else do you think staffers stay awake while Bill English is talking?

      • In Vino 16.1.4

        No, they are mostly the cocaine and LSD generation.

      • Anno1701 16.1.5

        “You seriously think that folk are smoking P in Parliament Buildings? ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha”

        soooooo naive….

  17. Rae 17

    Oh how bloody convenient. You got a whole bunch of people in desperate need of housing on your waiting list. How easy would it be to go into already occupied state houses, find traces of “P”, biff the current tenants out, give the house a bit of a scrub down, then in with the new tenants. Old tenants aren’t getting back on the list easily, hey presto, you’ve sorted much of the problem of a shortage of state housing.

  18. Paul 18

    The war on drugs has been a war on the poor for years.
    As documented by the best TV series ever.

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