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Predictable WOF findings don’t address housing problem

Media release

16 May 2014

Predictable WOF findings don’t address housing problem

It’s about time the World Health Organisation’s key health issues are addressed in New Zealand, says Bruce Gordon, the chief executive of home solutions company HRV.

In a report released in March, WHO declared indoor and outdoor air quality as the world’s biggest health priority and is closely linked to creating a healthy home through good quality ventilation, insulation and heating.

In light of this, Mr Gordon says the findings of the council-led housing warrant of fitness trials out this week show the criteria should have been more focussed on core healthy home elements rather than aesthetic ones.

“The WOF trial criteria was far too broad from the outset and failed to focus on the core elements that WHO recommends,” he says.

“It seems the officials now recognise this oversight. We hope that the revisions promised on the next checklist, which will be out sooner rather than later, will pull out all the unnecessary elements including adequate outdoor lighting at the entrance and quibbling over whether high windows have security stays.”

Landlords surveyed after the trial said that they also didn’t agree with seemingly redundant criteria such as window stays being included in the WOF criteria.

“As one of New Zealand's leading healthy home experts, with more than 130,000 customers around New Zealand, HRV is pleased WHO’s message is getting through because it affects everything from the health of children and their learning in schools through to work output and respiratory problems,” says Mr Gordon.

The field tests, carried out in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, found 94 per cent of the 144 houses failed based on the WOF checklist.

Mr Gordon says a truly healthy home is widely regarded as having ventilation, heating and insulation.

“As NZ’s leading provider of ventilation and heating solutions HRV is committed to making New Zealand homes healthier. It’s about treating the whole home with respect.

“We’ve just completed a landmark project to create New Zealand’s purest home invironment – a project a number of household Kiwi companies jumped on board to support.

“The HRV Pure Invironment Project transformed a cold, mouldy and damp villa into a warm, inviting and, most importantly, healthy home that future tenants will enjoy. We hope this project can be used as a template for others wanting to create a safe and liveable home.”

For more information on the HRV Pure Invironment Project go to hrvhouse.co.nz.

ENDS

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