Demand in­creases for methde­tec­tors

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - TOM CARNEGIE

It is sim­i­lar in shape in size to a smoke alarm, but it’s not for de­tect­ing fire.

The com­pany that sells the MethMin­der, a de­vice that de­tects the highly toxic chem­i­cals used in the man­u­fac­tur­ing of metham­phetamine, says demand for the prod­uct has gone through the roof over the past year.

MethSo­lu­tions sells the Kiwi in­ven­tion that’s fit­ted with a Voda­fone SIM card and sends out a covert alarm to the com­pany if it de­tects cer­tain in­gre­di­ents used in cook­ing P.

Nicky Strat­ford, a spokesper­son for Auck­land-based MethSo­lu­tions, says the de­vice is used as a preven­tion tool by land­lords.

‘‘With ev­ery in­stal­la­tion we also do a base­line test for meth at the prop­erty and work with ten­ants on how to un­der­stand and iden­tify the risks of meth con- tam­i­na­tion. It is all about de­ter­rence at the end of the day.’’

Strat­ford says there is cur­rently a back-or­der for the de­vice as the com­pany tries to pro­duce enough de­tec­tors to match the ever-grow­ing demand.

She says the de­vice works ‘‘by con­stantly sniff­ing the air’’, if it de­tects a meth in­gre­di­ent it then in­forms MethSo­lu­tions who will con­tact the prop­erty man­ager or land­lord.

Hous­ing New Zealand has a zero tol­er­ance ap­proach to drug use but the num­ber of prop­er­ties test­ing pos­i­tive for P is ris­ing.

From 2013/2014 the num­ber of Hous­ing NZ Auck­land houses that tested pos­i­tive for meth was 17. This num­ber has sky­rock­eted to 262 prop­er­ties be­tween 2015 and 27 May, 2016.

It is un­der­stood Ta­maki Re­gen­er­a­tion Com­pany, who was trans­ferred 2800 state houses last year, has been con­sid­er­ing the use of MethMin­ders but no de­ci­sion has yet been made.

Hous­ing NZ es­ti­mates the min­i­mum clean-up cost of a meth prop­erty at $14,350.

Hous­ing NZ chem­i­cal pro­grammes man­ager Char­lie Mitchell says the cor­po­ra­tion has in­ves­ti­gated var­i­ous meth de­tect­ing de­vices but ‘‘th­ese do not cur­rently meet our needs’’.

‘‘Hous­ing NZ will test for metham­phetamine con­tam­i­na­tion when we have rea­son to be­lieve a prop­erty is con­tam­i­nated with P.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.