Neue Veranstaltungshinweise

Aotearoa / Pacific Islands

Es wurden keine neuen Veranstaltungshinweise in der letzten Woche veröffentlicht

Kommende Veranstaltungen

Aotearoa / Pacific Islands | Miscellaneous

Keine kommenden Veranstaltungen veröffentlicht

"Don't Panic, Don't Panic"

category aotearoa / pacific islands | miscellaneous | news report author Mittwoch Juni 13, 2018 10:15author by Pink Panther - AWSM Report this post to the editors

This article looks at the moral panic surrounding supposed drug use by tenants of state housing in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Every so often an illicit drug comes along that has the State and the Establishment so worked up they over-react to it. Here in Aotearoa/New Zealand the drug concerned is P for ‘Pure’, a local name for methamphetamine. The negative health impact of this drug is not in question. However, it’s not so much the impact of methamphetamine addiction that has created anger. It is the use of methamphetamine contamination criteria by Housing New Zealand (HNZ), which is responsible for administering New Zealand state housing, to justify kicking state housing tenants out of their homes and forcing them to pay thousands of dollars to have the houses decontaminated.

In a rare sympathetic insight from a mainstream media outlet the Stuff website has this to say in the article “Meth House Myth” (June 1st, 2018):
“It’s been called the biggest scam ever played on New Zealand. For years, tens of millions of dollars were spent on testing and cleaning houses for methamphetamine residue that wasn’t dangerous at all. Throughout, Housing New Zealand led the charge, kicking tenants out of homes and pursuing them for thousands in the Tenancy Tribunal.”
It turned out that there was actually no evidence to show that methamphetamine contamination posed any risk to anyone.

In an article also published on the Stuff website (“The meth house is a myth: There’s ‘no risk’ from drug smoking residue, Govt report reveals”, May 29th, 2018) it was reported that:
“A bombshell report shows there is no real risk to humans from third-hand exposure to houses where methamphetamine has been consumed.
“This means tens of thousands of homes have been needlessly tested and cleaned at the cost of millions of dollars, with some demolished and left empty.
“The study by the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor Peter Gluckman found that New Zealand authorities had made a “leap in logic” setting standards. Essentially, a standard used overseas based on what “clan labs” should be cleaned to was now being used as a trigger to start cleaning here, despite no real health risk at that level.”
Despite the fact there is no clear scientific or medical information to prove that a methamphetamine contaminated house posed any health risks “ ‘…there has been an assumption among the general public that the presence of even trace levels of methamphetamine residue poses a health risk…,’ Gluckman said.”
The article went on to state “Gluckman said testing and cleaning still made sense when there was suspicion that methamphetamine had been produced on a property – but this was more to do with reassurance.
“He said a “moral panic” around cleaning and remediation had occurred only in New Zealand. If science had been involved earlier in the policy-making process this could have been avoided. “Mould was a much larger health risk to tenants than meth residue.”

It’s not just in the area of housing where drug testing has been imposed on the basis of misinformation and stereotypes rather than facts. The introduction of mandatory drug tests for social welfare beneficiaries by the Ministry of Social Development in July 2013 has also proven to have been a waste of public money.
In a NZ Herald article dated May 16th, 2016, it was revealed that “Last year, there were 31,791 referrals for drug testable positions nationwide and just 55 sanctions for failing a drug test, according to Ministry of Social Development (MSD) figures.”

That’s a failure rate of 0.17%!

Even in the private sector it has been revealed that less than 5% of people who have been referred to pre-employment and random drug tests have failed them, according to the NZ Drug Foundation (March 2017).
This ties in with the results of similar mandatory drug testing regimes imposed upon people receiving social welfare benefits in other countries. According to Forbes website (February 17th, 2015) the results for drug testing social security recipients in the USA were not much different. In Florida the failure rate was 2% (compared to 9.4% of the general population, in Utah it was 0.2% (compared to 6% of the general population) and 1 in 800 people in Tennessee (compared to 6% of the general population).

Indeed, the evidence is clear: the extent and impact of drug use among the poor is greatly exaggerated and used to justify intrusive drug testing that serves no function other than to provide government agencies with an excuse to force people out of state housing or eliminate their social welfare payments.

Even though the evidence is that people in state housing are not methamphetamine addicts, or that drug use among social welfare beneficiaries is lower than within the general population, the lies continue to be promoted.
There are three facts about drugs such as methamphetamine that need to be faced.

The first is that anyone, including children, who want access to illicit drugs can access them if they know the right people. The simple fact that most people don’t use illicit drugs despite the fact they’re easy to access, proves that we don’t need drug prohibition laws.

The second is that drug prohibition laws have failed to prevent anyone who wants access to illicit drugs from getting access to them. This raises the question of what the purpose of the drug prohibition laws are really intended to do.

The third is that when the drug prohibition laws are enforced it is done most brutally against the poor. Despite the fact drug use among those in lower socio-economic cohorts is much lower than among the general population only they are kicked out of their homes or stripped of any welfare assistance if they use drugs.

The ‘fight against drugs’ is nothing to do with combating substances such as P. It is an excuse used to remove the poor from neighbourhoods that are wanted by developers and to allow the government of the day to state they are doing something about a problem that is not only exaggerated but which is largely the result of the actions and inaction of various governments themselves.

People don’t end up poor because they do drugs but a very tiny minority of them do use drugs to escape from reality. Who can blame them if they do when their reality consists of a daily grind of just getting by?

There is nothing specifically anarchist in putting forward the idea that people who want to use drugs should be able to do so. Many people take the view that drugs should be sold, taxed and regulated to ensure quality control and to keep it out of the hands of minors. The money from the taxes raised from the drugs could be used to provide effective treatment for those people who are addicted and informed and providing facts about drugs based on scientific facts (rather than pseudo-science and scare-mongering) for those who are not.

However, from an anarchist point of view, this would not be enough as it still allows far too much state and corporate meddling in the private lives of those who use drugs and those suspected of using drugs.

An Anarchist blog artilce entitled “The Revolution will not be sober: the problem with notions of ‘radical sobriety’ and ‘intoxication culture’” by Zoë Dodd & Alexander McClelland (March 25th, 2016) had this to say about drugs and drug culture which is certainly worthy of discussion:
“…we believe that altering the relationships we have with our minds and bodies through substance use is a form of resistance and emancipation. For us, drug liberation is the emancipation of drugs deemed illegal and the people who use them from the control of the state and social structures. In our experience, drug use can facilitate authentic, compassionate, and emotionally bonded social relationships that are not possible otherwise. Drug use can be therapeutic and provide autonomy outside of the pathologizing system of western medicine for coping with trauma and difficult life experiences. Within an economic system that relies on our bodies as a tool of production under a capitalist rationality, getting high can be a tactic for survival, a therapeutic practice, and an active refusal to engage with capitalism.

“Maximizing our own pleasure by getting high can be a political imperative when we live in a society that is organized around viewing our bodies and minds as a form of capital. Under a capitalist logic, pleasure as an end unto itself is often viewed as dangerous, selfish, problematic, and destructive. But for thousands of years people have been using all kinds of drugs and substances to alter their relationships with their minds, bodies, with each other, and with their physical environments. Drugs were (and still are) used for ceremonial purposes to expand people’s relationship to land, expand worldviews, and as forms of healing medicine. Drugs have been widely used for years within communities of self-proclaimed queers, dykes, fags, gender radicals, freaks, skids, and punks to fuck with the ways in which society understands how we are supposed to act and be in the world. It is via practices of colonization, the introduction of capitalism, liberal legal frameworks, and the proliferation of western medicine that certain kinds of drug use have been arbitrarily pathologized and highly regulated, producing moralistic notions of illicit drugs, “addiction”, and the “addict”.

Whether or not one agrees with such sentiments the one thing that is absolutely clear is that testing state housing for methamphetamine and drug testing social welfare beneficiaries are forms of oppression used by the state to stomp upon the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in society

Verwandter Link:
This page can be viewed in
English Italiano Deutsch
#Nobastan3Causales: seguimos luchando por aborto libre en Chile

Aotearoa / Pacific Islands | Miscellaneous | News Report | en

So 17 Feb, 17:56

browse text browse image

Solidarity Issue 14 - April 2011 imageSolidarity Issue 14 - April 2011 13:37 Mi 20 Apr by AWSM 0 comments

The 14th issue of Solidarity, free newssheet of the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement. Visit the AWSM website to read the contents online and to download the .pdf (1.12MB) -


* A Class Quake
* Youth Rates Still an Issue to Fight
* Egypt’s New Rulers Step Up Repression
* No April Fools Joke
* Brutal Beneficiary Bashing Plotted
* The ‘Accidental’ Death of a Worker
* [T]Error Trial Continues - Without Jury

solidarityissue12.jpg imageSolidarity #12 - September 2010 12:27 So 05 Sep by AWSM 0 comments

The 12th issue of Solidarity, free newssheet of the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement. Visit the AWSM website to download a .pdf copy or read the articles online -


* Workers Rally Nationwide
* NZ Soldier Dies For Tyranny
* Abortion On Demand? Not In New Zealand
* Upcoming public events

textNew Interview with NZ activist Alex Pirie Feb 06 by AWSM 0 comments

NZ based social activist Alex Pirie discusses his personal circumstances as well as his view of current local, national and international issues.

image10 Steps to Detecting Conspiracy Theories & Bullshit Jan 22 by Pink Panther 0 comments

This article offers tools for debunking conspiracy theories. It views such ideas as a dangerous blockage preventing a clearer path to solving the very real political, social and economic problems we face.

imageThis Halloween...Abolish The Zombie Monarchy Okt 29 by AWSM 0 comments

On 31st October two members of the British monarchy will be visiting Rotorua, Aotearoa/New Zealand as part of a nationwide tour. AWSM has distributed this leaflet in anticipation of the visit.

textBuilding Bridges? Jul 13 by AWSM 0 comments

Simon Bridges is the leader of the National Party, one of the two main traditional parties of government in Aotearoa/New Zealand. He is currently touring the regions of the country. This is a report of one of the public meetings held on the tour.

imageHousing in NZ: Rhetoric .v. Action Apr 24 by Pink Panther 0 comments

The new Labour lead coalition government in Aotearoa/New Zealand has made a number of announcements regarding housing. The reality falls short of these announcements of progress.

more >>

textSolidarity #18 Aug 09 AWSM 0 comments

After a bit of a hiatus, we have published an August 2016 issue of our news sheet Solidarity.

© 2005-2019 Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by [ Disclaimer | Privacy ]