Meth testing guidelines for properties finally released

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.

It's no surprise when potential buyers want a meth test done, but it may be a surprise who carries out the test. Source: Seven Sharp

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. 

Fair Go has been investigating the meth detection industry; what we found is disturbing. Source: Fair Go

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.

The change comes after concerns the previous benchmarks were too low. Source: 1 NEWS

Man in serious condition following assault near Christchurch mall

A 41-year-old man is in a serious but stable condition in a Christchurch hospital, following an attack in the early hours this morning.

Police have cordoned off an area beside the Hornby Mall, on Shands Road, for a scene examination.

It is expected to be cleared by midday today.

Police are continuing to investigate the scene to establish what occurred.

Source: 1 NEWS


Police in stand-off with man barricaded in Huntly house

Police are currently involved in an ongoing stand-off in Huntly, which started around 2am this morning.

The eight-hour stand off began when police were called to a home on Harris St, where a man and woman had been fighting.

Upon arriving at the scene, police found the man had locked himself inside and was refusing to come out. 

At 9am, he was still refusing to come out of the home and police negotiators are currently on site, Waikato police Senior Sergeant Charles Burgess told Stuff.

"He's barricaded himself in the house and is threatening to harm himself," Senior Sergeant Burgess said.

He's not known to have access to any guns, Burgess said but does have access to knives and other items inside the home. 

"A police negotiation team are trying to speak to the man so we can bring an end to this event."

A section of the road has been cordoned off and detours are in place.

No one else is inside the home and no one has been injured.

Police emergency scene
Police emergency scene Source: 1 NEWS


Truck rolls causes road closure in Tararua

A truck has rolled in Tararua and is blocking lanes in both directions.

The truck rolled on Pahiatua Aokautere Road, also known as the Pahiatua Track, about 7.40am this morning.

The driver sustained moderate injuries. 

No other vehicles were involved.

Police are advising motorists to use an alternative route.

A road closure sign in front of a Police vehicle
A road closure sign in front of a Police vehicle. Source: 1 NEWS

Man dies in overnight crash near Gisborne

A man has died following a crash involving a car and truck on State Highway 35 near Gisborne last night.

The driver of the car died at the scene.

Emergency services were called to the scene near Makarori Beach Road at around 9pm.

The road was closed overnight, for the Serious Crash Unit to investigate, but has since been reopened.

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS