Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Housing WOF trial gets underway

Housing WOF trial gets underway

Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today announced the start of a trial Warrant of Fitness scheme on Housing New Zealand homes.

“This Government is committed to improving the quality of housing to help achieve our goals of better social, health and educational outcomes for New Zealanders. Our first step was to insulate every state house that could be insulated. This was completed last year. The next step is developing a practical minimum standard and applying this to our state houses,” Dr Smith says.

“The success of a housing Warrant of Fitness depends on getting the detail right. It needs to be practical so that it can be applied to the thousands of houses across New Zealand that have been built with different styles and technologies over the last century. We need to be cautious of removing houses from the rental market when there is a shortage. We also need to ensure that the benefits of the Warrant of Fitness standard exceed the costs, because housing affordability is a significant issue.

“The trial Warrant of Fitness checks the quality of homes in respect of three areas:
Insulated and dry: including ceiling and under floor insulation, ventilation and no obvious leaks in the roof or cladding;
Safe and secure: including for example smoke alarms, handrails on stairs;
Essential amenities: including for example functioning power points, food preparation facilities, and a functioning bath/shower and toilet.

“A Technical Advisory Group has been established with representatives from the Building Research Association of New Zealand, Local Government New Zealand, Master Builders, the New Zealand Property Investors Federation, district health boards, the Accident Compensation Corporation, Beacon Pathway, and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. The group will provide on-going advice on the detailed assessment criteria.

“This trial scheme is to be applied to a sample of 500 Housing New Zealand homes between now and July. It is intended that the detailed criteria will be refined with experience. I am expecting Housing New Zealand to report later this year on the number of houses that pass, the deficiencies that have been identified in their housing stock, and a realistic timetable and cost to bring all houses up to the new standard. The results from the sample of 500 will also allow us to determine the proportion of Housing New Zealand’s houses that would meet the standard.

“The plan is to then assess every Housing New Zealand home on a rolling three-year basis. We will initially exclude the 5000 earthquake-damaged homes in Christchurch until the scheduled repair work on them is complete. This new scheme will provide a far more robust reporting regime on the quality of our state houses.

“The Government has not made any decisions about the wider application of the Warrant of Fitness to other social housing providers or the private rental market. Our first duty is to ensure our own house is in order. We also want to test the trial scheme to ensure it is practical and cost effective.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news