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 will begin on 22 November 2022 and will continue until Monday 20 February 2023. During this time, we invite the public to make submissions on the proposals. 

Please read the proposal summary and the discussion document and make a submission on our consultation website(external link)

Indicative timeframes 

Milestone 

Target Date 

Discussion paper released, public consultation begins  

22 November 2022 

Submission period ends 

20 February 2023 

Analysis of submissions, Cabinet decisions and drafting of regulations 

March – December 2023 

Anticipated time regulations may come into force  

First half of 2024