Crown ignores P contamination | The Jackal

9 Dec 2012

Crown ignores P contamination

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

The house, listed with a capital value of $435,000, had been seized by the Government under proceeds-of-crime laws because its owner was convicted on serious drugs charges. But police didn't recommend to the local council that it be tested for drug residue and it was only withdrawn just before the auction when Waikato-based forensic consultant Todd Sheppard announced he had tested it himself and found a positive result for P.


Crown solicitor Nicola Graham said she erred on the side of caution after concerns were raised at the auction, and the property was now being tested for P.

Police Minister Anne Tolley last night said: "I would expect all agencies would work together to make sure all necessary checks have taken place to ensure public safety."

I would have thought that any house associated with the manufacture of P would be tested for residual methamphetamine contamination?

The problem here is that property owners have a lot to lose financially if the house they own is found to have been used to manufacture the drug known as P, and the same can be said for the Crown. That's why the government has done nothing to fix this issue.

If the Crown had actually erred on the side of caution, they would have got the house tested well before it was put up for sale.

This shows a complete lack of thought on the part of Crown agencies, being that they were willing to let the house be sold to a hapless buyer who would've been none the wiser to the problem and landed with a large cleanup bill of between $5000 to $35,000. In fact some houses are so contaminated that they have to be demolished, meaning years of litigation to try and recover costs from people who are often in jail.

Despite the government making a number of assurances, there's still no public database of houses that have tested positive as meth labs or the ones that have been decontaminated. Unfortunately the problem is still being quietly swept under the carpet by the Crown to protect property owners and insurers from potential losses, and this suits the drug industry just fine.