Real estate group CEO calls on government to set meth testing standards

by NZ Adviser15 Jun 2016
Harcourts CEO Chris Kennedy says after police seized the largest ever haul of methamphetamine in New Zealand history over the weekend, it is vital that action be taken to have drug testing standards in place pre-property purchase. 

“In my investigations I’ve found that the testers and cleaners have differing viewpoints on the severity of contamination and the methods for decontamination,” says Kennedy.

“We need some standards put into place to protect consumers and the government needs to take the lead on this.” 

He says although real estate sales consultants will always make full disclosure if they know drugs have been used at a property, it is unrealistic to expect them to be aware every time. 

“There aren’t necessarily any outward signs and we do not advocate that our sales consultants test properties – as this is a highly skilled area that needs to be carried out by specialists.”

As the potential purchaser it is your responsibility to commission P testing as due diligence, Kennedy says.

“Just as the leaky building problem has made a qualified building inspector essential when looking to buy, the P scourge should make methamphetamine testing mandatory.”

448kg of methamphetamine, with a street value of $494 million, was seized by police in Northland on Sunday, with a further 46kg found buried in bags on 90 Mile Beach.

“The police have done an incredible job, but we all need to work to stop the scourge. We don’t want our sales consultants entering P contaminated homes and we don’t want them selling P contaminated homes. Standardised and mandatory testing would be ideal.”

A property where P has been used or manufactured is likely to be contaminated with dangerous chemical residue, which can cause serious health effects. 

The long term effects of the chemicals produced from cooking meth will only be known once the people exposed to them start to experience unusual health problems. However, short term effects include asthma like symptoms, breathing difficulties, skin rashes, eye irritations, headaches and nausea.

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