The testing and decontamination of methamphetamine is quickly becoming a normal part of buying or renting property in New Zealand. Up until June 2017, testing and decontamination was something anyone and everyone could do, and because of that, it’s been hard to know who to trust.
Standard NZS 8510 released by Standards New Zealand earlier this year, has been put together by a committee of industry experts to provide guidance on:
- sampling, testing and decontamination;
- acceptable and habitable levels of contamination; and
- procedures used by testing and decontamination companies.
This standard is only voluntary, but in the absence of anything else, it provides guidance around best practice for the testing and decontamination of methamphetamine-contaminated properties.
MTNZ CEO Nathaniel Hamilton says it’s a good move for the industry and he’s pleased to see a shift towards consistency and best practice. “What resulted [from no standard] was inconsistency between testing companies and a higher level of confusion as to whether the property was actually contaminated."
"MTNZ’s goal is to provide its clients with the best testing service possible, transparency, and clear and concise advice because meth-testing can be a scary thing". The new standard allows MTNZ to better deliver on this goal.
Part 1: What’s changed and how does it impact MTNZ’s services?
Below is an outline of what has changed in regards to testing procedures and reporting. These changes impact all of our services.
MTNZ already implements a lot of what the new standard considers to be best practice. We’ve introduced field blanks to further improve quality control and testing variance, we’ve always tested a minimum of 10 samples per property, and our laboratory Analytica Laboratories analyses samples in accordance with the standard. They’re also IANZ accredited.
Our standard turnaround time is still 48 hours if not faster.
“At the end of the day, we’re dealing with methamphetamine, and our clients want and need us to sort the problem for them. The biggest issue this industry faces is sampling variance. With the introduction of new standards providing all testing companies with best practice guidelines, the issue of variance can be addressed” says MTNZ CEO Nathaniel Hamilton.
“Our goal is consistency so should a property need testing again in the future, by us or another company, we know we’ve done the best job possible” he said.