Long-awaited methamphetamine testing guidelines for contaminated properties have been released.
The previous Health Ministry guidelines were controversial, with critics saying they were far too low and saw people being evicted or properties deemed contaminated unnecessarily.
Twenty-one committee members worked on the standards.
The new standards are 1.5 micrograms per 100 square centimetres for bedrooms, living areas, kitchens, sheds or garages. The previous Ministry of Health guidelines were 0.5 micrograms.
For areas such as crawl spaces the level will be 3.8 micrograms.
There'll be a two-stage process for sampling and testing for the presence of meth. The first stage will determine if it is present above the limits in the standard, and then a detailed assessment stage to quantify the level and extent of contamination.
Housing New Zealand said as of May 30, 2017, there were 257 properties across the country vacant due to confirmed meth contamination.
Standards New Zealand manager Carmen Mak says it'll provide a benchmark to those in the industry who are making affected homes in New Zealand safe to occupy.
"Application of the standard will provide assurance that activities such as screening, sampling, testing, assessing and decontamination of contaminated properties, and disposal of their contents, are carried out in accordance with good practice,” says Ms Mak.
Construction Minister Nick Smith said the changes would give people confidence.
"The new standard is a huge step forward in helping home owners and tenants deal with the risks of methamphetamine contamination. It will give people greater confidence and certainty, will result in hundreds fewer properties having to be vacated and save millions in unnecessary decontamination work," Dr Smith said.