What I would really like to know is who decided that houses where methamphetamine had been used where too dangerous to live in?

Was it the Government, landlords, renters, health experts — who was it?

I would also love to know how much money has been needlessly spent by landlords, and homeowners fixing something that didn't need fixing.

Housing New Zealand has spent millions of dollars "fixing" homes that have tested positive for meth use.


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After goodness knows how many years an expert has done some tests and found that there is no health risk whatsoever from meth residue.

Sir Peter Gluckman says it was all a waste of time and money.

And when I think about it I never once read a story or heard on the grapevine of anyone that had been to the doctor or had fallen ill from living in a "contaminated" house.

I can imagine how all the people that have had to spend thousands getting rentals "decontaminated" must feel.

I know how I would feel. Totally ripped off.

I know one such person who sold a rental and the buyer insisted it was tested for meth. Very minor contamination, just on surfaces, was detected so the house had to be cleaned.
Luckily this owner had insurance so he "only" had to pay $2500 while the insurance covered the other $10,000.

They said it "feels like I just had my pocket picked. At the time I knew it was a huge expense but because of legislation I had no choice but to pay up, now I'm thousands of dollars poorer and angrier. If it had been worse I'd have had to have all the gib removed and doors replaced. No doubt my premiums will jack up next time I renew.

"What's more annoying is meth smokers probably light up in their cars then on sell them but were cars ever tested?"

Good point.

I did think it was odd that a house had to be cleaned if a slight trace of meth was found in it because when you think about it there must be loads of furniture, clothing and household appliance from "contaminated" houses that end up in op shops.

So anyone buying something could unwittingly take it home "infecting their home".

One of the saddest things about this is that all those Housing New Zealand homes that have stood empty because of the meth myth could maybe have saved a lot of our homeless people from sleeping on the streets.

I'm not blaming HNZ either — they were following rules, but again who made up the rules?

Then there are all the companies around the country that popped up with ways to decontaminate properties. I guess their businesses basically closed over night after Gluckman's report was released.

Imagine if all the money that has been thrown into this huge bungle had instead been aimed at helping those people who are addicted to this horrible drug.

Lives could have been saved, families could have avoided the heartbreak of watching their loved one fall victim to meth.

The trouble with us Kiwis is we tend to believe everything we are told. So when someone said you can't live in a house that meth has been used in we all believed it. Not surprising really because we've all seen what it does to people.

What an absolute waste of time and money.

■Linda Hall is assistant editor of Hawke's Bay Today.
■Views expressed here are the writer's opinion and not the newspaper's.