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.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And
Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the Resource Management Act.

Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing, which happens to be another of the government’s most contentious, most ideologically-driven policy packages. Presumably, Key will be trying not to double down on the rhetoric, and thereby leave room for Labour leader Andrew Little to sound like the centrist voice of reason.

Key will have his work cut out, though. More>>

 
 

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Ian Apperley: $10m Or $100m For New Wellington Council IT System?

I feel a Tui Billboard coming on. I commented the other day that it looked like the Council’s Ninth big project was a potential $100 million plus... The Mayor has responded: “I am reassured by the Chief Executive and by Anthony Wilson that the proposed budget is in the region of $10 million.” More>>

ALSO:

Southern Ocean:
Navy Intercepts Illegal Fishing Vessels

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today put illegal fishing vessels operating in the Southern Ocean on notice and vowed to take action against their owners. “As part of a multi-agency operation, the HMNZS WELLINGTON has intercepted two vessels claiming to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea, fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean.” Mr McCully says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news