New meth test levels expose system 'rorting'

Drive 29/05/2018
Photo credit: Newshub.

A new report by a senior Government advisor suggests there is no evidence that residue left behind in homes by methamphetamine smoking is a health issue - despite common misconceptions.

The report was drafted by Chief Science Advisor to the Government, Sir Peter Gluckman.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford joined Ryan Bridge and Lisa Owen on RadioLIVE Drive to discuss the report showing previous ‘at risk’ levels of meth in a home were in fact not harmful at all.

That means Housing New Zealand 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.

“$75m of that $100m would not need to have been spent,” Mr Twyford told RadioLIVE.

As a result of the report, 240 state homes with low levels of meth will be released within weeks for people to live in.

Mr Twyford says guidelines were initiated a number of years ago by the Ministry of Health when identified that meth contamination could be a problem.

But the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor Sir Peter Gluckman said the health risk of living in a house where meth has been smoked is so low that he "can't see the point of testing, full stop".

He said he would be comfortable with a toddler crawling around licking surfaces where 100 micrograms were present.

Meanwhile, the Drug Foundation’s Ross Bell is calling meth testing the “biggest scam New Zealand has ever seen”.

Listen to the full interview above.

Drive with Ryan Bridge and Lisa Owen, 3pm - 6pm Weekdays and streaming live on'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.