News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Improving housing improves health

27 September 2012

Improving housing improves health

There is now irrefutable evidence that cold, damp houses are bad for our health – they are bad for healthy people and they are particularly bad for people with respiratory problems, the New Zealand Respiratory Conference was told today.

“New Zealand’s housing stock is infamously cold, damp and hard to heat” says Professor Phillipa Howden-Chapman, University of Otago, Wellington “but the solution of insulation, installing effective heating and fixing up deferred maintenance is now clear.” Professor Howden-Chapman today outlined her latest research results, including an evaluation of the first 46,000 houses insulated under the Government initiative, Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart which showed the impact of improving housing on respiratory health.

“Our Research Programme has also developed a Healthy Housing Index with BRANZ which we are using to rate houses around New Zealand, for their risks to respiratory health and home injuries and energy efficiency. It enables owners and landlords to have an evidence-based tool for making cost-effective decisions about how to improve their housing and could provide the basis of a decent home standard, such as they have in England.”

Robert Linterman, general manager residential at the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), further outlined the benefits of the Government initiative, Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme, which aims to retrofit over 230,000 homes.

“Over 180,000 homes are now warmer, more comfortable and healthier thanks to the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme. These warmer, healthier homes provide obvious health benefits, especially for those with respiratory illness.”

“The programme has also allowed us to target those with health issues and those most in need. This has made it possible for many district health boards, primary health organisations, community trusts and health agencies to achieve significant health benefits for Kiwi households, thus reducing medical costs for the country and days off work or school. Independent research has shown that $5 worth of benefits arise from every $1 spent on insulating homes, with the total value of health benefits estimated at over $1.3 billion over the life of the measures” said Mr Linterman.

“We applaud the initiatives being taken to improve housing quality. Many respiratory illnesses could be avoided if we all had warm, dry homes. A lot of New Zealanders will have better respiratory health because of the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme” says Dr Bob Hancox, medical director of the Asthma Foundation.

“These presentations to the New Zealand Respiratory Conference reinforce the importance of prevention” says Angela Francis, Chief Executive of the Foundation. “Give our children good housing, good lungs and a good start so they have the best opportunity to grow strong and be well throughout their lives”.

The NZ Respiratory Conference is on the 27 – 28 September at the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington.

Background
1. About 1 in 4 New Zealand children and 1 in 6 adults has asthma.
2. New Zealand has the second highest rate of asthma in the world, following the UK.
3. About 800,000 New Zealanders are affected by asthma and other respiratory conditions.

About the Asthma Foundation

The Asthma Foundation is New Zealand’s not-for-profit sector authority on asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

We advocate to government and raise awareness of respiratory illnesses, fund research for better treatments and educate on best practice. We provide resources on our website and support our 17 affiliated asthma societies in providing education, support and advice.
www.asthmafoundation.org.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Eddie Izzard: UK Comedy Legend Returns

Hailed as one of the foremost stand up comedians of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion Icon... February 2015, Eddie Izzard will bring his massive FORCE MAJEURE world tour to New Zealand with tickets going on sale at 10am on Tuesday 28th October. More>>

Festival Starts 28 Oct: Improv Fest Makes Up New Show

For any other festival, finding out less than two weeks from showtime that half the cast of a programmed show can’t make it to New Zealand would be a nightmare. Instead, the New Zealand Improv Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan saw an opportunity ... More>>

NZ Music Awards Finalists: Lorde, Sol3 Mio Top 2014 Tuis Charge

Lorde has taken the music world by storm during the past year and she co-leads the 2014 Tui charge with five finalist spots. Joining her is newcomer family opera trio, Sol3 Mio. They are followed closely by Ladi6 and David Dallas, both up for four awards each. More>>

From 'Luther' Creator: Major New Zealand Crime Series For BBC

Libertine Pictures and writer Neil Cross have teamed up with leading international TV producer Carnival Films to develop a major new crime series set in Rotorua. Libertine will develop the contemporary drama series with Carnival, producer of internationally-acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey, for the BBC. More>>

ALSO:

Family Statement: Death Of Ewen Gilmour

“Ewen was a much loved and cherished member of our family, he was a larger than life character and by his very nature was kind, generous and always giving of his time to those who asked for his help." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news