New Zealand Property Investors' Federation

The NZPIF is the umbrella body for 17 local Property Investors' Associations throughout New Zealand.

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Buying a former 'P' house can prove costly

“A house used as a P lab becomes contaminated with methamphetamine residues and other by products of the manufacturing process, which can potentially cause serious health effects to unsuspecting new occupants,” says Nick Mcleay, Director, NZ Drug Detection Agency Ltd (NZDDA).


“It’s something current homeowners who are renting out their properties need to be aware of and also those looking to buy properties.”


To counteract this problem and to rid houses of P associated residue NZDDA offers a service to test for methamphetamine residue. Its Meth Detection (MD) Series of Products and Services is designed to identify properties that have been used to smoke or manufacture P (methamphetamine).


These services are aimed at home buyers, landlords and property managers to help protect them from purchasing or letting a contaminated property and to also deter tenants from using the properties for manufacturing P.


Nick says, “our testing is designed to be a cost effective option in answering the question “do I have a problem or don’t I?” before you get the big boys (laboratory based testing companies) in to do a full laboratory work up on your property to establish the level of contamination that is present. While this will be required if the testing indicates you do have a problem is may also work the other way and save you thousands of dollars on unnecessary testing.”   


“NZDDA can test the property before tenants move in to ensure its safe and then as a deterrent to tenants using the house to manufacture P we can test while they are living in it as part of the landlord’s property inspection,” Nick says.


NZDDA also sell testing kits so property managers can conduct the testing themselves as part of their regular property inspection if they want.


Prior to joining NZDDA Nick was the officer in charge of the Police National Clandestine Laboratory Response Team (Auckland) between 2004 and 2008, and prior to this he spent 4 years on the Auckland Organised Crime Squad where he was involved with major operations investigating the manufacture and supply of Methamphetamine in New Zealand so he knows a bit about this problem.


Nick says that during his time investigating this type of offending it was clear that police were just scratching the surface with respect to finding clandestine drug laboratories with 70% of the labs being found while Police were carrying out other enquiries.


“The criminals operating these labs were very mobile and moving around regularly to avoid detection. But in doing so were leaving contaminated properties to be purchased or rented out to unsuspecting families and landlords,” Nick says.


Nick says that he sees the MD services, giving families and landlords peace of mind when purchasing or renting properties.


NZDDA Services:

       Pre-Purchase Testing. To identify if the property has been used for the manufacture of methamphetamine,

       Pre-Occupancy Testing. To establish that a property is free of detectable levels of methamphetamine residues before a tenant moves in.

       Property Inspection Testing. Follow up to the pre-occupancy testing to deter the tenant from using or manufacturing the drug and to identify those that haven’t been deterred from this type of activity.

       Customised Tests. To suit a clients requests or needs.

       Awareness Seminars on Clan Labs and Methamphetamine and other drugs.

Charges for these services start at $350.

NZDDA has 16 offices around New Zealand. For their locations and further information visit our website or call 0508 Drug Test (3784 8378) or visit the NZDDA stand at the conference.