Stewart & Co Blog

Hot Topic - Meth Testing

Stephanie Brookes, Director and Senior Environmental Scientist of Meth Wise let's us in on some Do's and Don'ts of the industry.

Buying a home or investment property will likely be the most expensive purchase you may ever make. Considering Auckland house prices are now averaging the $1M mark, the cost of a simple methamphetamine (meth) test, is a small price to pay to avoid purchasing a meth-impacted home, protecting your investment and potentially saving you thousands of dollars in remediation costs! Living in a meth-impacted home may also have serious health implications for you and your children.

The Crockers Property Investment Index survey, released this September, estimated approximately ¾ of investors would opt for a meth-test prior to investing if given the option. Real Estate Agents and property managers are strongly advising buyers and landlords to have their property professionally tested in order to reduce risk and protect investments.

Why can't I just buy an immediate-result testing kit off Trademe and DIY?

As with any method of scientific sampling, there are always limitations associated with the collection of data, methodologies used, analysis and interpretation of results. Three major points are listed below:

  • DIY kits often produce discrepancies such as false negatives, or false positives, which can be very confusing and misleading. You will likely end up calling in the professionals anyway!
  • DIY kits are not yet sensitive enough to detect lower levels of methamphetamine in accordance with the current National Guideline value of 0.5ug/100cm2. You may discover after you purchased the property that you have a methamphetamine problem.
  • DIY results will not hold up in a court of law if you find your tenant has caused contamination.

 So, if I do call in the professionals, how do I choose a reputable company?

 You want to be assured that the Company you choose is capable of identifying and communicating any significant contamination issues within the property. Be METH WISE and ensure the Company you engage:

  • Is Suitably Qualified and Experienced
  • Is Independent & Reputable
  • Does not use DIY kits
  • Uses IANZ Accredited Laboratory Services
  • Provides you with a Comprehensive Report

 A committee is in the process of developing a new standard (NZS 8510) covering the testing and remediation of homes contaminated by the manufacture or use of methamphetamine. This will include guidance on best practice sampling methodologies and procedures. The standard will ensure a consistent and effective approach is in place to manage the testing and remediation of contaminated homes and their contents. Ensure your Consultant is aware of these future changes.

So, why not call in the professionals for $169 + gst and receive quality results you can trust?

Be METH WISE – Test Before You Invest.

Stephanie Brookes
Senior Environmental Scientist (BSc)
Meth Wise

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

1 in 9 New Zealand women are affected by Breast Cancer in their lifetime and today 8 New Zealand women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.  It seems now that every person you talk to has a story of someone they know who is affected by this. 

 The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation works to:

  • Promote awareness and education of what breast cancer is and how to detect it;
  • Provide support for those going through treatment; and
  • Fund research into detection and treatment.

 To show our support for this great organisation, we will be going Pink for a Day on October 26th to help raise much needed funds for this great charity and have set up a fund raising page with the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.  If you are interested in making a donation please follow the image below:



Alternatively, you may like to set up your own page and have your workplace go Pink for a Day in October.  Click on the image below to find out more:

 100% of the funds raised go to the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation and all donations over $5 entitle you to a tax rebate, just remember to print out your receipt and put it in with your end of year tax information and we will do the rest. 

Deductibility of Gifts



With Christmas not too far around the corner, we thought it a good time to update you on IRD's current position regarding gifts to customers, clients and staff.

The IRD have recently reinterpreted their position on the giving of food and drink as gifts.  Where these are to be consumed off the business premises the IRD consider these to be only 50% deductible.  This is a change from their previous interpretation of these being 100% deductible.  The reason IRD say is that there is an element of both business and personal benefit from the gift – benefit to the business giving the gift and enjoyment for the person receiving it.  
So what does this mean:
  • If you give food or drink as a gift, including as part of a gift basket, this is only 50% deductible as an expense.  
  • If you give a gift basket which contains both food and drink and non-food items, you may need to split this cost of this between the two.  
  • If you give something other than food and drink as a gift, this is 100% deductible.  
So when looking at what to gift to your customers, clients and staff you may like to look outside the box on what to give.  Some ideas we have seen include:
  • Umbrella's or sunshades
  • Beach Towels
  • Pot plants
  • Gift Vouchers  

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