It is currently unclear what to do when residential rental premises are found to contain methamphetamine residue. Specifically, it is not clear at what level residue becomes a problem which should be addressed. This is confusing for stakeholders, and has led to disproportionate responses to low levels of methamphetamine residue where there is a low probability of harm 

New Zealand currently uses two different ‘acceptable’ levels for methamphetamine contamination, one from the New Zealand Standard NZS 8510:2017, and the other from the 2018 report by the Prime Minister’s former Chief Science Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, on methamphetamine contamination. However, neither of these are mentioned in legislation, therefore neither are legally binding. 

Regulations are needed to provide certainty around what to do when residential rental premises are contaminated with methamphetamine.  

About the proposed regulations 

The proposals include:  

  • a maximum acceptable level of methamphetamine residue in rental housing, above which premises will be considered to be contaminated,  
  • a maximum inhabitable level of methamphetamine residue, above which tenancies can be terminated in certain circumstances; 
  • requirements for landlords on when and how to test for methamphetamine residue; 
  • what types of testing would be permitted under the regulations;  
  • how to decontaminate premises, including while the landlord continues to provide the premises to the tenant, and  
  • what to do with possessions which are left behind in contaminated premises. 

Public consultation 

Public consultation began on 22 November 2022 and was due to close on Monday 20 February 2023. Due to the disruption caused by severe weather events, that deadline was extended until Friday 10 March 2023. 

Submission have now closed. The proposal summary, the discussion document and the scientific research are available below. 

Indicative timeframes 


Target Date 

Discussion paper released, public consultation begins  

22 November 2022 

Submission period ends 

10 March 2023 

Analysis of submissions

March – October 2023 

Cabinet decisions

After the 2023 general election

Anticipated time regulations may come into force  

Subject to timing of Cabinet decisions