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Record meth haul 'highlights the need for P testing of houses'

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The days of getting your mates to check over your property before purchasing are over.

The news this week that police have seized the largest ever haul of methamphetamine in New Zealand history highlights just how vital drug testing is now pre-property purchase.

And Harcourts CEO Chris Kennedy is calling for the government to urgently set in place standards around the methamphetamine testing industry.

"In my investigations I’ve found that the testers and cleaners have differing viewpoints on the severity of contamination and the methods for decontamination.

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

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, Mr Kennedy says.

And long gone are the days when you could have a property looked over by a friend with building experience.

"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."

A huge 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.

Mr Kennedy says the haul shows how prolific the drug is in New Zealand and certainly there are increasing reports of P contamination in houses.

"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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