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Contamination workshops to nip drug issues in the bud

While law changes are on the way to better handle issues around meth-contamination of tenanted dwellings, a series of workshops are aimed at helping farmers nip drug problems in the bud.

Federated Farmers, The Drug Detection Agency and rural insurer FMG are jointly hosting five seminars in central New Zealand to raise vigilance around suspected drug use and manufacture, and give farmers and other employers advice on the appropriate way to deal with employment matters where drug use is suspected or confirmed.

One recent news report said that in some centres, P – a drug that can have devastating consequences – was becoming easier to obtain than cannabis.

Included in the discussions will be tips on the risk signs to look out for in and around properties and with unusual staff behaviour, the need for regular property inspections, and drug testing procedures.

Farmers want to keep their own families, their workers and their stock safe and drug manufacture and abuse poses a significant health & safety risk.

The isolation of farmhouse buildings, which may be rented out, have made them a popular place for P labs.

Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith said the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No. 2) introduced to Parliament late in May 2017 makes a number of practical changes, including around better managing methamphetamine contamination.

“This Bill recognises that meth contamination of properties has become a significant issue that needs clearer direction. We want homes to be safe but we also don’t want properties being vacated when the risks are low,” he said.

Federated Farmers Healthy and Safety spokesperson Katie Milne said the organisation was running these workshops because this was an issue that was now top of mind for many farmers.

“It’s great we can work with FMG and TDDA to try and get on top of this problem.”

Source: Federated Farmers

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