NZs Meth Legacy – Do we really have an issue?

This week has seen some great debate between myself and some passionate property investors on Some robust discussion, differences of opinion but also some constructive feedback.

It is fair to say, that plenty of property investors remain unconvinced that there is an issue with meth contamination of property. And I can understand why. If you haven’t had a problem, then really the only person telling you that there is an issue, is me!

So, is there anything in what I am saying? Here is why I believe there is:

  • Meth contamination of property comes from manufacture and use

Meth Manufacture Risk

  • Since 2000, Police have busted around 1900 labs
  • Estimates put this at 5 to 10% of the total number – 19-38000 labs?
  • This is the distribution of lab busts around Auckland in the last two years
  • A lab can fit in a suitcase (just ask the motel industry) so they move around
  • Total number of properties affected by meth labs – who knows!

What we do know is that the majority of labs are found in rentals – 75% 2009. And, At least one insulation company refuses to work on properties with obvious signs of chemical contamination. What do these numbers work out as – 1 in 20 in South Auckland

Meth Use Risk

  • Meth use peaked at around 5% of the population (nearly +160,000 people)
  • Currently official figures put between 1% and 2.8%
  • Unofficial use rates in parts of Auckland 10 to 20%
  • Meth is used by people who rent AND own property
  • Every property where meth has been used, may be MethAffected

Now not everybody out there will be convinced by what I have set down here. They will continue to rely on Kiwi risk management 101 – ‘She’ll be right!’ Others may choose not to flip the coin with thousands of dollars when they come to buy or rent a property.

A final thought – trained Police officers find themselves in the position where the only evidence they have that a lab has been active, is the results they get from the lab. If trained Police officers can’t pick a meth lab contaminated home by inspection alone, how will you?

Do you know the MethStatus of your property?

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