No compensation for landlords who followed incorrect meth guidelines - Jacinda Ardern

  • 06/06/2018

The Prime Minister has confirmed there will be no compensation for people who spent thousands of dollars unnecessarily clearing their properties of meth residue.

A Government report released last week found no evidence methamphetamine residue on household surfaces from smoking impacts health.

It means Housing New Zealand (HNZ) may have pointlessly emptied several hundred state houses and wasted a good chunk of $100m on cleaning houses in which meth was smoked but not manufactured. It is likely many more private landlords also adhered to the incorrect guidelines, with some spending thousands of dollars.

But Jacinda Ardern told The AM Show there was no obligation for private landlords to get the testing done.

"This is the thing that's really devastating, is there was never any mandatory requirement for anyone to undertake any of that activity."

Ms Ardern says it wasn't just the Government who made them feel like they had to comply.

"There was a whole industry that built up to say 'it's really unsafe for you', and the science just wasn't there."

But she said the Government is not sitting back and doing nothing.

"We're at the moment going back and looking at all the cases... where we've seen people be evicted as a result. Some people had bans placed on them from being in Housing New Zealand houses so we've lifted that.

"And I think there is something to be said about making sure that those people being evicted are housed as well.

"There are now 240 houses that are fit to be occupied - that's a plus."

Ms Ardern says the Government "came in and immediately said let's ask the right questions about this standard".

Housing New Zealand (HNZ) will now use a new standard of 15 micrograms of meth detected per 100 square centimetres after cleaning, expecting to save $30m a year in remediation and testing. That's 10 times the current limit of 1.5 micrograms. It used to be 0.5 micrograms after cleaning.