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Greens add key clause to housing bill

July 27, 2000

Greens add key clause to housing bill

Green Party Social Services Spokesperson Sue Bradford welcomed the Housing Restructuring (Income-Related Rents) Amendment Bill's progress through Parliament today, saying it was one of the best government initiatives in more than a decade to help the low paid and beneficiaries.

The Green Party has added a new clause to the bill which requires Housing New Zealand to: "Exhibit a sense of environmental responsibility by having regard to the environmental implications of its operations".

"Expensive power bills have in recent years bumped up the huge weekly burden faced by those on very low incomes," Ms Bradford said today. "This new clause means Housing New Zealand will have to ensure its state houses are well insulated and energy efficient in all other ways, so the on-going expense of heating rooms and providing hot water for family members is drastically reduced."

The Green clause will have a strong influence over new housing also, for example by emphasising that homes should be sited if possible in warm, dry positions rather than in swampy areas as had sometimes occurred in the past. Building materials will need to be safe, environmentally friendly and energy efficient.

"We have added value to this bill. I believe by now targetting high power bills as well as high rents, this legislation takes a major step in pegging back inequities caused by the last government's new right policies," Ms Bradford said.

Sue Bradford MP 04 4706720

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