"Latest reports show there is no real risk to humans from third-hand exposure to houses where methamphetamine has been consumed, no wonder owners, landlords and many other groups of the public are perplexed."
Potentially this means that thousands of homes have been tested, cleaned and even demolished at a huge cost to owners, landlords and insurers.
The recent study which was carried out by the prime minister's chief science adviser, Peter Gluckman, revealed: "There is absolutely no evidence in the medical literature of anyone being harmed from passive use, at any level. We can't find one case."
Prime Minister Ardern stated on television news that there would be no compensation for landlords' losses because there was no mandate for landlord/investors to clean up their houses after P was detected.
Her attitude is in conflict with Tort law's Duty of Care which is:
Everyone has a duty to do something or not do something which otherwise may cause harm or loss to someone else.
But M. bovis-stricken farmers did have a mandate to comply with the tag and trace legislation which if breached could cause enormous harm to their industry and the New Zealand economy.
Unlike landlords who are not in the business of methamphetamine, farmers are in the business of animal welfare, the foreseeable risks associated with disease and the importance of biosecurity and containment.
According to Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor on Q+A, some farmers breached the tag and trace mandate by neglecting, failing or refusing to comply with best biosecurity practice. "There have been failures."
Farmers knew the risks of noncompliance but were prepared to recklessly run those risks, causing enormous harm and loss to themselves and the public, including landlords who are now asked to contribute to cleaning up a foreseeable agricultural crisis largely of farmers' own making.
Prosecution would have promoted a higher standard of professionalism and ensured farmers faced the social and financial costs of their own reckless activities.
Mum and dad landlords/investors, mostly with one or two properties, provide an essential service to over a third of NZ households, including farm workers who are among the lowest paid and cannot afford, or choose not to, own their own homes.
Farmers enjoy perks and tax-sheltering arrangements that are not available to landlords, yet this Government is demonising landlords and planning to tax them by ring fencing losses and introducing capital gains tax.
Their Tax Working Party determinations are based on grossly false figures and conclusions that are currently being challenged by independent experts Morgan Wallace.
Uncompensated landlords often go without to ensure their tenants are well homed.
Farmers can make claims to Government to offset their losses, including one recently who claimed for a Gold Coast holiday.
As with the Government ill-advised methamphetamine debacle, landlords and many other groups of the public are perplexed with the prime minister's duplicitous attitude towards, on the one hand, compensating farmers for breaching their own industry mandate, while landlords bear an unfair burden of methamphetamine losses and this Government's proposed additional tax on rentals.
• Barry Erickson was chief compliance officer (retired) of the NZ Apple and Pear Marketing Board, and is a member of the Hawke's Bay Property Investors Association.