The head of a major real estate firm has reacted angrily to a report today which says there is little health harm from meth-contaminated houses.
"There appears to be absolutely no new research in this report. Instead, the report appears to be a regurgitation of pre-existing and incomplete data which has somehow been reconstructed into a recommendation to Government," said First National Real Estate chief executive Bob Brereton.
The report was produced by Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, the Prime Minister's Chief Science Adviser, and commissioned by Housing Minister Phil Twyford.
"The report appears to endorse levels 10-20 times higher than anywhere else on the planet. Is the rest of the world wrong and the New Zealand Government right?
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"Who will compensate the owners of the tens of thousands of houses which were deemed to be contaminated prior to this announcement and which have since been remediated at the cost of many millions?
"Who picks up the tab for the loss of sale price, the LIM registrations, the costs of remediation, and the many real estate salespeople who have inadvertently had their careers ruined through the existing levels?
"Who will pay for the many cases which have gone before the Tenancy Tribunal and which have resulted in a successful prosecution where complainants have successfully argued adverse health effects in the living environment?"
He questioned whether there was a political motivation behind the findings.
"Given the Government's strong position on increasing housing stocks and the minister's immediate action to release a large quantity of houses previously deemed uninhabitable back into the system it's difficult not to see a political motivation in this. Simply put, the Government needs a win on social housing and has chosen to put the health of children at an unquantifiable risk in order to achieve it," he said.
The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) called for guidance from the industry's governing body, the Real Estate Authority.
"We know consumers are extremely sensitive about purchasing a property that has been contaminated by meth and the same is true for those looking to rent, so our members need to be able to give members of the public very clear advice now that we have conflicting information in the public domain," said REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell.