Contaminated P house waste left for children to play in

Contaminated P house waste left for children to play in

A Wellington community is angry that furniture from a P-contaminated state house was left on the front lawn for three days where children were able to play in it.

The Wainuiomata property was cleaned out on Wednesday, but the contents were not properly disposed of.

Workers in protective clothing cleared the contents of the house on Friday afternoon.

"There have been children picking through the rubbish as well as adults," said neighbour Josh Briggs.

"Housing New Zealand has now the role of finding out where that rubbish has gone to and making sure everyone's safe."

It was only after Mr Briggs contacted Housing New Zealand yesterday that he was told the house was contaminated.

"I shouldn't even have had to call them. The fact they had staff here on Wednesday, they knew that they were cleaning the property; they knew that they had P contamination on it. I shouldn't have had to follow up," he said.

But HNZ said it had no idea the rubbish had been left on the front lawn. It said items were being removed from the property on Wednesday when its contractors were physically attacked and had to leave, meaning the work couldn't be completed as planned.

HNZ claims it only became aware of that yesterday and acted immediately to remove the items. But Hutt City Councillor Campbell Barry says the property manager told him he knew before Friday, and was too busy to deal with it.

"When you've got stuff that's been thrown on a lawn that's contaminated with P, that should be an absolute priority," said Mr Barry.

HNZ says it is looking carefully into what happened and whether the correct processes were followed. It says it has contacted concerned neighbours, and has no reason to believe there is a risk to their health.

The Wellington region has the second highest number of meth-contaminated HNZ state houses in the country.

While in 2013/2014 there were two contaminated houses in the region, the following calendar year there were 13, and as of May this year the number had risen to 84.

In total, there are 688 meth-contaminated Housing New Zealand properties around the country.

The cost to test the homes and decontaminate them is at least $14,000 per property.

HNZ says it will be seeking damages from the tenants of this home to cover the costs.