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


Asthma NZ Documentary Shows How Kiwi Homes Are Contributing To Respiratory Illness - And What We Can Do About It.

The relationship between unhealthy Kiwi homes and sky-high asthma and respiratory illness rates is being put under the spotlight with the upcoming launch of impactive new documentary Healthy Homes, A Kiwi Dream by Asthma NZ, in collaboration with building scientists Oculus.

Respiratory illness is the third leading cause of death in New Zealand and the country has the second highest asthma rate in the world. Over 3,000 children are hospitalised with asthma each year, and in 2018 alone, 77 people died a preventable death from an asthma attack.

Asthma NZ’s mission is a 50% reduction in asthma hospitalisations by 2029, but the health of Kiwi homes is getting in the way of achieving that mission, says CEO Katheren Leitner.

Making this documentary was a way to bring people’s attention to this crucial issue, and hopefully prompt a national conversation on how to change things for the better.

“Unhealthy Kiwi homes are making people sick. They are too cold, too damp and directly contribute to high rates of asthma and respiratory illness,” she said.

“The documentary aims to bring awareness to the fact that New Zealand’s frequently substandard housing is actually directly impacting health”.

Healthy Homes, A Kiwi Dream examines a common Kiwi home, identifying the factors likely contributing to the respiratory illnesses of its occupants. Oculus co-director and architectural engineer James Powers then leads a team making a series of accessible and affordable changes to the house to improve the way it functions and impacts on health, while also looking at the deeper reasons behind what is going wrong and why a shocking 53% of New Zealand’s housing does not meet minimum healthy home standards.

Advocating for change in both policy and the building industry are crucial, Powers says.

“Respiratory illness statistics continue to rise every single year. There is a well-researched link between healthy housing and respiratory illness,” he said.

“The substandard housing in New Zealand has been a topic of conversation for a number of years now and despite tens of millions of dollars in research, there has been very little in the way of improvement”.

Healthy Homes, A Kiwi Dream will be launched on December 5th, alongside a nationwide social media campaign to raise awareness of the issues. For more information, visit

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>

Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland