tv3 Housing New Zealand is suing methamphetamine criminals for damages after they were forced to demolish a state house badly affected by the chemicals used to manufacture P in 2004.
Two adults and six children lived in the Napier house when P was being made in the lounge in 2004, but the Crown prosecutor wants the ten adults, who were subsequently convicted of the crime, to pay the $185,000 cleanup bill.
A police witness told the court the lab was so active it was producing up to five batches of methamphetamine a week, at 18 hours per batch.
The Crown's forensic scientist, Dr Nicholas Powell, tested over 100 lab sites around the country and said the Napier home was the most contaminated he has ever tested.
Property Investor Jim Lowe is following the Housing New Zealand test case closely, saying the outcome may help compensate landlords who pay thousands of dollars out of their own pocket to cleanup, meth-lab affected properties.
"We applaud HNZ taking this case because it's not a common problem but it is very, very serious for the property owners involved," property investor Jim Lowe says. "Any landlord that has a problem like this, if HNZ win this, will try and use this as a precedent case to get cover for their property. It's a large amount of money and it's definitely worth chasing."
Lowe says if Housing New Zealand does win, it is unclear how they will recover any damages that may be awarded, from convicted drug criminals.