Standards system reassurance sought

Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Hon Kris Faafoi has asked the Prime Minister’s chief science advisor Professor Juliet Gerrard FRSNZ to work with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to ensure Standards New Zealand’s standard-setting process is robust.

 Mr Faafoi says that while MBIE’s independent review of the process for creating the methamphetamine standard NZS 8510: 2017 complied with the standards and Accreditation Act 2015, he had broader concerns.

 “Given the impact the meth standard had – the tremendous effect on families removed from their homes and the economic impacts on property owners – I am taking this step to ensure we can have full confidence in the standards system.”

 Mr Faafoi met with the former chief science adviser, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, after the release of his report on meth contamination.

 “After meeting with Professor Sir Peter Gluckman and discussing his work on methamphetamine contamination in residential properties in New Zealand, I asked Sir Peter to provide me a summary of his concerns in regard to methamphetamine  NZS8510:2017 and the general Standards setting process.

 “The depth and nature of the advice mean that I have some outstanding concerns that relate to the processes and systems used in the Standards development process. I believe that as a responsible Minister I need to act on this advice so I have asked Professor Juliet Gerrard to work with MBIE in order that we can remove any cloud of uncertainty in regard to both the setting of the meth standard, and the use of science in standard-setting.

 “I anticipate that joint MBIE-Chief Science Advisor advice would either confirm there are no outstanding areas of concern, or identify areas where more work is required. If more work is required, I will commission that work.

 “We need to have confidence in our system and to ensure issues such as those encountered by Housing New Zealand tenants do not recur.”