MethSolutions strive to lead stakeholder groups in building better outcomes for individuals and government organisations dealing with meth affected property.
As a result, we have shared our view on relevant issues below.
Housing New Zealand’s Proposed Policy on Dealing with Meth Criminals
The proposed policy of identifying and excluding meth criminals for HNZ property, has the potential to massively increase the harm caused to New Zealanders as a consequence of their ongoing meth related behaviour. Exclusion from HNZ property will not stop their destructive habits.
One of the key reasons people get trapped in an ongoing cycle of meth use, is because accessing effective drug treatment programmes is at best challenging through the government sponsored programmes and doing so, is made optional. This despite there being providers who have demonstrated great success in treating meth users AND their being evidence that coercion based treatment is as effective as waiting for people to ‘be ready’.
We believe Housing New Zealand tipping meth users and cooks out onto the street, is an abdication by this Government of its responsibility to protect society from their criminal activity. It will transfer their behaviour and the costs associated with fixing the issues they leave behind onto ‘Mum and Dad’ investors. These are the members of the housing community most poorly equipped to deal with the challenges meth criminals pose.
These people have worked too hard to have their futures ruined by a policy that demonstrates a distinct lack of a coordinated approach!
- Identify the meth related behaviour and hold people accountable
- DO NOT kick them out
- House them in property that has been specifically designed to be resistant to contamination from meth and in areas which are subject to additional surveillance
- No varnished/stained/bare timber
- No concrete block or concrete unless sealed with appropriate meth/chemicals resistant treatments
- No downlights to reduce risk of air flow into roof cavity
- Access to roof cavity restricted/blocked
- Extraction fans and range hoods vented to outside
- Carpets removed and floors covered with chemical resistant lino/vinyl that goes up the walls to allow for easy clean down – rugs only
- Walls covered with meth/chemical resistant treatments
- Some level of MethManagement is in place to identify ongoing meth related behaviour
- Meth criminals undergo compulsory drug and alcohol treatment programmes with greater effectiveness than current Govt. sponsored efforts
Some people will resist the idea of compulsory drug treatment programmes. However, the 2008 NCAT Report ‘Investing in addiction treatment – a resource for funders, planners, purchasers and policy makers’ specifically identified that a coercive based treatment regime, was at least as effective as waiting for drug users to be ready to change their habits.
Rural Employers’ Drug and Alcohol Policy
MethSolutions supports proactive drug alcohol policies in employment contracts for rural workers.
Rural areas in New Zealand suffer high methamphetamine use, mainly in residential homes. Many farms offer accommodation to workers as part of their wage package and living in MethAffected property is known to affect occupants’ health.
Farmers providing accommodation as part of the job are exposed to more risks than urban employers. There are risks to the business from random meth-driven behaviour but also the residential accommodation being on the farm means Occupational Health and Safety legislation could apply to the house as it’s an extension of the workplace.
The best course of action for rural employers is to have:
- A clear drug and alcohol policy
- An employment contract signed by the member of staff that incorporates this Policy
A strategy for proactively managing MethRisk in properties on an ongoing basis so that meth related behaviour can be identified and responsible parties held accountable.