HNZ: 'No confidence' in NZ First meth testing

HNZ: 'No confidence' in NZ First meth testing

Housing New Zealand (HNZ) is disputing New Zealand First's claims relating to a P-contaminated state house in Lower Hutt.

The state-owned housing provider will this week test the Petone home for methamphetamine.

NZ First social development spokesman Darroch Ball said the elderly tenant complained 10 months ago of ill health by meth poisoning. The party arranged a private test for traces of the drug last week, which returned a positive result.

"With the information I went straight to HNZ in Lower Hutt and explained the situation as it being an urgent matter," says Mr Ball. "Only then did HNZ act, and still they had organised a three- to four-day wait before going in."

Mr Ball said the woman produced a medical certificate to HNZ in June last year. But chief operating officer Paul Commons says the tenant's daughter first raised the issue last week.

"On that same day we spoke with the tenant's daughter, directly reassuring her that we had booked in a methamphetamine test to be conducted the following week. The tenant has confirmed to us her daughter did advise her of the test last week. That is going ahead this week." 

HNZ says while the woman may have a medical certificate, it hasn't seen a copy.

It also didn't consider last week's 30-minute meth test "comprehensive" or have "any confidence" in the tester's qualifications. HNZ normally allows for around two hours to test for methamphetamine.

It's also possible for some properties to be contaminated but below Ministry of Health guidelines, and still possible to live in safely.

However, if this week's test shows results above those guidelines, HNZ says it will take immediate steps to decontaminate the property.

"The health and wellbeing of our tenants is a key priority for us at HNZ. Once we have the results back from our contractor, we will let the tenant know and support her through any next steps that we may need to make," Mr Commons says.