Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Why are we still building cold and damp homes?

16 August 2019


A recently released Otago University study has provided further evidence that low-quality housing is a significant problem in Aotearoa. This has prompted the Chief Executive of the Association of Consulting Engineers (ACENZ) Paul Evans to question “why we are still building cold and damp homes when we know that this has huge economic and socials costs.”

The study looked at Wellington children who had been seen by a doctor when suffering from a respiratory infection. A building inspector checked the homes of 642 children under two-years-old and found children were up to five times more likely to be hospitalised if they lived in households where dampness, mould and water leaks were detected.

Paul Evans says “According to the United Nations, adequate housing is a basic human right, yet we continue to accept poor outcomes. Poor quality housing has a direct cost to our health system, along with a myriad of other indirect costs. For example, sick children take time out of school, which can, in turn, lead to poor educational outcomes.”

Respiratory disease accounts for one in eight of all hospital stays in New Zealand and costs more than $5.5 billion every year. One in six (over 700,000) New Zealanders live with a respiratory condition, and these rates are worsening.

“I am mystified as to why we continue to build houses as if we live in a warm and dry country. The incidence of mould in New Zealand homes is much higher than many of our OECD peers.”

Paul Evans says “Our building code is arguably out of date and inadequate for our weather conditions. The code is designed to be an absolute minimum standard, yet it has become the target. For example, most public housing, where some of our most vulnerable citizens live, is built to comply with the code and nothing more.

“We need to raise the standard of home construction significantly, albeit in a well-planned way, with a reasonable time-frame attached. This will allow the industry to respond in smart, innovative and cost-effective ways. We must stop using our climate as an excuse. There are many other countries with similar or far more challenging weather conditions, yet they manage to navigate this issue.”

“We must raise the performance of our homes through a planned and integrated approach to insulation, ventilation and heating, which delivers better overall performance,” Paul Evans says.

“This is not just a health issue; it’s also a climate change issue. Heating our current housing stock is incredibly expensive and carbon-intensive. Wasting vast amounts of energy heating poor quality homes doesn’t make sense if Aotearoa is to achieve the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.”

“We need to step up to the mark, realise our building code must change and start making this a reality.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Commerce Commission: Retail Fuel "Not As Competitive As It Could Be"

The Commission has outlined some options it considers could improve competition. There are two broad sets of options it thinks may have the potential to help create a competitive wholesale market. These are:

• Greater contractual freedom to make it easier for resellers to switch between suppliers; and
• Enabling wider participation in the majors’ joint infrastructure, notably the shared terminals and supporting logistics involved in their borrow-and-loan system.
Further options, including improving the transparency of premium petrol prices, are discussed in the draft report. More>>

 

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

PM's Post-Cab: Bad Mail

Cabinet was updated on the process around prisoners sending mail, following the accused Christchurch gunman sending letters that "should have been stopped". All mail of "high concern prisoners" will now be checked by a specialist team and a changes to the legal criteria for witholding mail are expecting to go to a cabinet committee in this parliamentary session. More>>

Welfare: Ongoing Drug-Test Sanctions Contradicts Govt’s Rhetoric

Reports that two-thirds of beneficiaries who fail drug tests are still having their benefit sanctioned contradicts the Government’s so-called health approach to drugs. More>>

ALSO:

Welfare: More Measures To Help Those Facing Homelessness

Ministers have announced $54 million in Government funding for initiatives which will support at-risk individuals and whānau to stay in their existing tenancies. The funding will also provide additional wrap around services. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: New Strategy On Māori Reoffending And imprisonment

Authentic co-design with Māori, incorporating a Te Ao Māori worldview, and greater connectedness with whānau are key elements of Hōkai Rangi, Corrections’ new departmental strategy designed to address the long-term challenge of Māori reoffending and imprisonment. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels