Monday, August 08, 2016

Calling bullshit on "P-contamination"

For the past year, Housing New Zealand has been using bogus tests for methamphetamine residue to evict people from state houses. They know the tests are bogus, with a huge false-positive rate, and yet they keep using them. But now, the Tenancy Tribunal is calling bullshit:

Two recent Tenancy Tribunal decisions related to meth testing have gone against the agency.

In one case, a tiny level of meth, just above the guideline, was detected on an extractor fan in a house.

Housing New Zealand evicted the tenant and tried to charge them $10,000 for the clean-up in which doors were removed as well as an oven, extractor fan, and light fittings.

In July this year the tribunal ruled the decontamination work bore no resemblance to the contamination.


In another case, ruled on in May, Housing New Zealand tried to evict a tenant for meth contamination and fine them large sums - again after low levels of meth were detected.

In this case the tenant disputed the allegation and accused Housing New Zealand of breaching health and safety legislation by renting them an uninhabitable house.

Housing New Zealand had to refund several months rent to the man it had accused.

Unfortunately most of Housing New Zealand's victims never challenge their evictions, so its unclear how much of a restraint this will be on their abusive policies. And with political pressure to increase churn in state housing tenants as a way of masking under-provision of state houses, I suspect Housing New Zealand will just keep on chucking people out on the street on the basis of this voodoo.

(Really, someone should P-test Premier House, a few Ministerial offices, and Parliament's debating chamber just to demonstrate the false-positive rate)