The Inspectors

8:00pm Monday, March 1 on TV One

Local series, The Inspectors (tonight on TV ONE at 8pm) follows Kiwi council’s specialist squads: some of New Zealand’s toughest inspectors on the front line of filth, pollution and illegal operation – they are the unsung heroes from councils across the country, working tirelessly to preserve public health.

It is their mission to keep Kiwis safe as they strive to protect residents and the environment – controlling those who inflict damage upon it, and preventing the spread of lethal contaminants, deadly disease, dangerous pests and unlawful activity.

On tonight’s episode, at the Greater Wellington Regional Council, environmental protection officer Naomi Middleton has been alerted to a potential crisis on the Kapiti Coast where massive numbers of dead fish have reportedly washed up along the coastline.

Middleton is concerned the fish have been poisoned by bio-toxins; and in similar cases around the country, fish contaminated with poison have caused the death of dogs and marine life such as penguins, and if this is the case, then the public and animals using the beach, could be in danger.

Meanwhile, at Auckland’s North Shore City Council, building and compliance officers Graham Jones and Kareema Fuard are investigating a dwelling that has had illegal housing additions. On a previous visit six months ago, a carport underneath a deck had been transformed into an additional dwelling, posing serious environmental and public risks. The addition is illegal and not safe for housing people, so the council wanted it demolished.

At Manukau City Council, district licensing officer Paul Raddich, and Manukau Police constable Chris Lally, are preparing for what’s known as a controlled purchase operation – sending a minor into bottle stores attempting to purchase alcohol. These operations are the District Licence Authority’s primary tool in trying to combat underage drinking.

Missed an episode of The Inspectors – full episodes are available online. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘ondemand’ button.

8:00pm Monday, January 25 on TV One

Back for a fourth series, The Inspectors follows Kiwi council’s specialist squads: some of New Zealand’s toughest inspectors on the front line of filth, pollution and illegal operation – they are the unsung heroes from councils across the country, working tirelessly to preserve public health (tonight at 8pm on TV ONE).

It is their mission to keep Kiwis safe as they strive to protect residents and the environment – controlling those who inflict damage upon it, and preventing the spread of lethal contaminants, deadly disease, dangerous pests and unlawful activity.

In this new series, viewers follow inspectors from various departments as they go about their day-to-day business – each investigation with its own challenges, conflicts, and surprises – all in a bid to make New Zealand a safer place. Episode one sees Dunedin environmental health officer Wayne Boss heading out from the council, for a routine inspection at a Chinese restaurant with a history of problems with food safety practices – food poisoning is a serious public health risk, with more than 12,000 people contracting various food borne illnesses every year.

The restaurant has an adequate ‘C’ grade, and beginning his look around, it doesn’t take long for Boss to uncover problems. The food in the chiller is dangerously exposed to all sorts of cross-contamination, and without any labels as evidence of date and when the product should be used by, Boss says he can’t be certain all the food was cooked yesterday as the man keeps insisting. In the freezer, things are just as bad. Despite talking to the operators about the problem, Boss says his concerns don’t seem to be sinking in, which is a worry because this inspection is going to get a whole lot worse.

Meanwhile on Auckland’s North Shore, environmental health officer Brett Taylor is responding to a distress call from some unhappy tenants. One in four New Zealanders say the home they live in has contributed to poor health and tenants Chris and Leslie are no different, claiming they have lived in filth for 18 months, unable to escape their lease.

There is substantial evidence of rat activity there, which poses extremely serious health risks. It may be a dirty job, but Brett must unearth the full extent of this problem, and heads into the ceiling cavity for a thorough inspection. It’s immediately clear Chris and Leslie weren’t exaggerating when they told him it was like having rats running races over their heads, he says.

Exposure to rat urine is a major health hazard that can cause Leptospirosis – a dangerous disease that can be deadly – so earlier the landlord had a friend put poison baits in the roof, but they didn’t kill all the rats and the remaining rats have completely destroyed the bait stations. It gets worse – maggots from the dead rats are raining through the ceiling.

Meanwhile back in Dunedin, Wayne Boss has uncovered some serious health risks at the restaurant, but an agitated owner isn’t helping this inspection, and inside, things are about to get a whole lot worse for this troubled operator. There is severe evidence of vermin infestation, so Boss needs to take immediate action under The Dunedin City bylaws. Capable of transmitting more than 500 diseases including listeria, disentry and even salmonella, rats are a serious health hazard to unsuspecting diners. The operator is shut down, and must convince Boss within three days he can maintain adequate food practises. If not, he faces longer term closure, and prosecution under the food act.

Also in this episode Canterbury environmental protection officers are responding to a call out on the pollution hotline. Smoke pollution is a serious threat to the air quality in Christchurch, and it’s the job of this team to help prevent it.

Missed an episode of The Inspectors – full episodes are available online. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘ondemand’ button.