Ngāti Whātua take strong stance against p-drug

By Talisa Kupenga

Ngāti Whātua are taking tough measures to crack down on the potential risks of P manufacturers or users living in iwi homes.

This comes as Housing New Zealand faces a rapidly growing epidemic of P-contaminated houses. Of the 67,000 of its properties, 400 are contaminated with the drug.

Both Ngāti Whātua and Housing New Zealand are taking a zero tolerance approach to P cooks and users in their homes. It has cost Housing New Zealand alone nearly $6million in the past six months to test and decontaminate its properties. But there is also another cost of this growing epidemic, but it is hidden.

Housing New Zealand’s Chief Operating Officer Paul Commons says, “It's damaging our homes and denying homes for families in need. So the real casualty of this is homes aren't being occupied by families who need them."

Ngāti Whātua is expanding its iwi housing developments across Auckland. They are well aware of the potential damage caused by P users and cooks.

“The overarching goal for us is to be a P-free community. That's the real goal. But some who may be using P, our message is clear, cut it out or you'll be kicked out,” says Ngāti Whātua spokesperson Joe Pihema.

Miles Stratford runs a company that tests for potential P contamination at properties. He checks around 250 homes a month, double the number tested last year.

Stratford urges homebuyers to test for P before they put money on the table, "So worst case scenario is you have to knock the thing over and start again. But if there is manufacture that has gone off and the walls are being ripped out and the electrical fittings are gone. If there is ventilation that's removed as well. And if there is an HRV system or DVS system then that can go as well."

Housing New Zealand says the problem will just get worse.