Last Thursday 20th July 2017 the first meeting was held in Auckland for the newly formed Meth Testing Industry Association New Zealand (MTIANZ).
The idea behind setting up MTIANZ is to clean-up the industry and provide some assurance to property owners and clients that meth testing is no longer going to be a cowboy industry. Predictably the whole meeting was basically outlining, discussing and questioning the recently released standards NZS 8510:2017.
Some of the most interesting point to come out of the meeting were:
- Currently NO ONE is accredited or qualified: the new standards created two new qualification levels for methamphetamine testers: Screening Samplers and Accredited Samplers. Screening Samplers have to have done an NZQA unit standard and Accredited Samplers have to have an ISO/IEC 17020 accreditation from someone like IANZ. These are new qualifications just created so the courses and accreditation standards haven’t been made yet. Therefore no one has completed anything because they don’t exist. In the meeting they expect a year or so grace period to allow time for the development of the training and time to become qualified. So at the moment it’s business as usual. Our advice is to use us for testing obviously and be sure to check the scientific proficiency of anyone else you use.
- Companies can’t provide testing and decontamination/cleaning services: the new standards have strict new rules around conflicts of interest, Meth cleaning and decontamination companies clearly shouldn’t be testing the efficacy of their own services. Also if the testers or cleaners have an interest in the property, they really shouldn’t be working on it.
- Meth Testing: the whole process basically is being structured how it always should have been. In a more scientific way and reported accordingly. There are now standards for doing a sampling plan, exact requirements for what areas to be tested and more thorough detailed reporting for clients. It’s basically a lot more technical with the purpose of shaking out the cowboys doing adhoc testing.
- Working Together: the requirements for testers and decontamination contractors to communicate and work together and share information has been strengthened. This is a good thing and adds some valuable accountability to the process.
There’s no doubt the result of the new standards and establishment of MTIANZ will be positive for property hunters, tenants and landlords. There will still be about a year or so transition phase while the tree is shaking and everyone is getting their accreditation and qualifications in order, but the future is looking bright.