Community housing providers hope that private landlords will start offering their properties to social housing tenants now that the "bogeyman" of meth contamination has been destroyed by a report which says it is not a significant health risk.

Community provider Lifewise has over 100 social houses and offers the Housing First Pathways to Housing programme.

Chief executive Moira Lawler said the report, by Chief Science Adviser Sir Peter Gluckman, had shone a light on the science behind meth contamination.

"This is the big bogeyman. This is the thing that ma and pa landlords have been encouraged to be frightened of, so I think this will be very helpful," Lawler said.


"It's the private landlords who are the most concerned about P (methamphetamine) contamination because they don't understand it well; they can't insure themselves adequately for P under the current framework. It was a real risk for them."

"To have some science shining a light on that issue is massive."

Gluckman's report, released yesterday, said there was no evidence third-hand exposure from methamphetamine smoking caused adverse health effects.

Housing New Zealand (HNZ) said it would immediately move to a level 10 times higher than the 1.5mcg/100msq level that triggered decontamination.

Auckland Community Housing Provider Network chairwoman Hope Simonsen said the report was already having an impact.

"Already we've got some indication that private landlords are not now going to want to be testing with this news. People are responding pretty quickly to that," she said.

"It means that this issue, which was created by this supposed standard that was set, will reduce the pressure on the social, community and private market.

"We still need our private landlords in this market, we definitely do, and anything that can encourage them to stay in the business is actually a good thing, to be honest," Simonsen said.


Tenants Protection Association co-ordinator Angela Maynard said it had been a struggle to keep tenants in Housing New Zealand (HNZ) houses that had tested positive for meth.

"We really welcome this news but we are really horrified that people have been evicted, probably needlessly."

Former National government minister Paula Bennett, who at one point had responsibility for Housing New Zealand, told Radio New Zealand on Wednesday she didn't think the level of contamination being used by HNZ when she was minister was right and was pleased it had been proven so.

Bennett believed HNZ should now look at cases in which people had been evicted under the old meth level, saying apologies and compensation might be required.

"I would certainly be wanting to look at it all and see individual cases and make sure it has been fair and reasonable."

Housing New Zealand said in a statement it evicted eight tenants because of meth contamination in the 2016/17 year and just one in the past financial year.

It had referred cases to police and pursued tenants for decontamination costs in the past.

Asked whether it would now consider compensation, HNZ, a crown entity, said: "As with the earlier change in levels between the former Ministry of Health guidelines and the New Zealand standard in mid-2017, the change in levels is not being applied retrospectively and that includes in relation to compensation."