Work starts on standard for testing and remediation of methamphetamine-contaminated properties

test tube in lab

The committee that will develop a new standard on testing and remediation of methamphetamine-contaminated properties (NZS 8510) held its first meeting on 29 June 2016 in Wellington.

The first meeting mainly involved discussing the committee’s terms of reference, including the scope, process and time frame of the project, and planning the work ahead.

The committee agreed that the scope of the standard will include:

  1. guidance on methods of sampling and testing of properties[1] and their contents to assess the extent of contamination by ensuring that sampling is representative, and that testing methods produce reliable and repeatable results, whether using qualitative or quantitative methods, and a consistent approach is used for reporting test results
  2. measures to manage risks to health, well being, safety, and the environment from meth-contaminated material and chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine
  3. guidance on notifying and recording details of meth-contaminated properties and their decontamination
  4. best practice procedures, including performance criteria, for decontaminating and remediating properties and their contents
  5. methods of disposal of materials that cannot be decontaminated
  6. information that supports processes, such as validation or auditing, that provide assurance that testing, risk assessment, decontamination and remediation of properties, and disposal of contaminated materials have been effective and comply with relevant legislation or bylaw requirements.

Proposed structure of standard

The committee agreed to a proposed structure of the standard that would cover:

  • preliminary (pre-remediation) assessment of properties, including sampling and testing to assess risks
  • guidance on decontamination/remediation of affected properties
  • post-remediation sampling and testing to certify properties safe to occupy
  • general matters, such as reporting and documentation, competency of operators, and roles and responsibilities of agencies
  • technical appendices, including sampling and testing protocols, and health and safety measures
  • reference documents.

Committee members formed into subcommittees to focus on developing each of the main sections of the standard, and will report back at the next committee meeting at the end of July.


The committee has agreed to work towards developing a draft standard that can be released for public comment for 2 months in October or November 2016. The exact release date will depend on progress with proposals developed by committee members, and the availability of background research on safe exposure levels.

All public comments received by Standards New Zealand on the draft standard will be reviewed by the committee, and any changes will be made before the standard is approved by the Standards Approval Board for publishing in early 2017.

Further progress reports will be posted here in Touchstone.

[1] Including vehicles, caravans and mobile homes

Read more on the committee*

*Two members have been added to the committee following approval of its membership on 4 May 2016 by the Standards Approval Board. At that time the New Zealand Standards Executive had not received nominations from either the New Zealand Property Investors’ Federation (NZPIF) or the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ). Invitations were sent from Standards New Zealand to both organisations to nominate representatives, in emails dated January (to REINZ) and April (to NZPIF) but were mistakenly overlooked. 

Subsequently both NZPIF and REINZ requested that the New Zealand Standards Executive consider late nominations to the Committee. These nominations (Andrew King, NZPIF and Lisa Gerrard, REINZ) were approved by the Standards Approval Board at its meeting on 6 July 2016. The nominations were approved under Section 13 of the Standards and Accreditation Act 2015:

Section 13 considerations:

Committee membership proposal:

Balanced Representation, section 13(1)(a):

The Board must have regard to the importance of ensuring that members of a committee constitute a balanced representation of the stakeholder interests relevant to the draft proposal.

Skills, Knowledge and Experience, section 13(1)(b)(i) or (ii):

The Board must ensure that each member of the committee has either:

  • the skills, knowledge, and experience relevant to the standard; or
  • the knowledge and experience of the sector or sectors most likely to use the standard. 

Published in building.