‘Hovel ready’ plan: Green Building Council response to National’s healthy homes scrapping

07 September 2020

The Green Building Council have this morning called National’s reported plans to scrap the healthy homes standards as ‘hovel ready’.

Andrew Eagles, chief executive of the Green Building Council, said: “Scrapping the healthy homes standards would condemn thousands of New Zealanders to damp, mouldy homes, and could cost the economy billions of dollars. It could cost hard-pressed families millions in more expensive household bills too.

“It’s a hovel ready plan.

“The poor state of New Zealand homes has been criticised by international big hitters like the International Energy Agency and the OECD. And our damp, cold homes have been linked to rheumatic fever and asthma.

“We urgently need to improve our homes now, which would benefit the health of New Zealanders, our economy, our international reputation, and would be a popular move with voters too.”

A recent report by the Green Building Council showed that improving 120,000 New Zealand homes to the healthy standards that Kiwis deserve would deliver a net benefit of up to $3.1 billion, an economic stimulus, lower carbon emissions, improve health outcomes and help kick-start a just transition by creating over 1,000 new jobs.

Cold and damp New Zealand houses have been linked to asthma, rheumatic fever and respiratory infections. Respiratory disease affects 700,000 Kiwis, is responsible for almost 80,000 hospital admissions, one-third of which are children, and costs New Zealand $6billion a year, according to the Asthma Foundation.

Half of New Zealanders are more likely to vote for a political party in this year’s general election that promises to ‘significantly and urgently’ improve the unhealthy state of homes in Aotearoa.

The survey, carried out by Consumerlink, owned by Colmar Brunton, asked New Zealanders whether a promise by political parties to significantly and urgently improve the state of homes would sway their vote.

Half of those surveyed said they were more likely or much more likely to vote for a party that did, while just one in 20 said they were less likely or much less likely.