Standards New Zealand is "happy to engage" with those seeking to change the position on property methamphetamine testing and contamination, it says, and welcomes feedback on the standard published last year.

Carmen Mak, Standards New Zealand manager, said her organisation was ready and willing to hear from people who sought change, following a bombshell report out on Tuesday which said there was no evidence of health effects from third-hand meth exposure.

Mak welcomed engagement.

"As new techniques and approaches are identified, standards are always open to updates and Standards New Zealand would be happy to engage with any organisation who wishes to review the standard," she said.


Housing NZ immediately adopted the new lower threshold on Tuesday, having spent around $100m fixing meth-hit state homes in the last four years. Housing Minister Phil Twyford said 240 state homes sitting needlessly empty would be put back into use within weeks.

Asked to respond to the report from Prime Minister Chief Science Advisor Sir Peter Gluckman debunking the meth myth, Mak said work had already begun looking at the meth standard.

"Standards New Zealand is scoping some work to validate the process followed to develop the standard. We anticipate this will be undertaken independently," she said.

The standard, published last June and known as NZS 8510, was set according the information available at the time, she said.

"NZS 8510 testing and decontamination of methamphetamine-contaminated properties was developed as good practice guidance at a time where there was uncertainty around what constitutes a safe level of contamination and appropriate procedures for testing and decontamination," she said.

"It was the first of its kind and as with all standards, they are developed as guidance and are voluntary unless cited in legislation," she emphasised.

Gluckman's report said the NZ Standard "did not focus on risk assessment or health effects" but instead established a clean-up regime.

Standards New Zealand is a business unit within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment which specialises in managing the development of standards and publishing and selling New Zealand, joint Australia-New Zealand and international standards.


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there would be no compensation for people who had been affected by meth contamination laws.

Ardern said the government would not look into compensating people who had been evicted, lost out on rent, or seen their property values decline from having meth-contaminated status.

"There has been no mandatory requirements around for those particularly who may have had that experience in a private capacity," she said.

John Waymouth, a barrister who defends real estate agents, asked about agents disciplined or convicted under the current meth regime.

"Real estate industry and regulatory bodies failed to question the hysteria that was unsupported by any scientific evidence at all, and indeed for some years experts like Dr Nick Kim from Massey University had been stating exactly what Sir Peter Gluckman is now stating," he said.

Joanna Pidgeon says the current standard still applies.
Joanna Pidgeon says the current standard still applies.

But Auckland District Law Society president Joanna Pidgeon said yesterday judicial rulings would hold because they were based on the New Zealand Standard which still applied.

"A scientist has issued a report but that doesn't overturn the standard because scientists issue reports all the time. But the national standard is a New Zealand-wide consultation process," she said.

National leader Simon Bridges welcomed the Gluckman report, saying meant more people could occupy more houses but rejected speculation the previous Government was captured by the industry.

"If the standard was too high, in a sense, it's good news if it comes down. It means we can have more people housed in more houses," he told the NZ Herald Focus this morning.

But he rejected any suggestion the previous Government was not as critical of the meth investigation and contamination industry as it could have been.

"Ultimately it was the same deal with us as it will be with this current Government."

- Additional reporting Newstalk ZB