Lower Quality KiwiBuild Homes Could See New Zealanders Miss Out on $700million
19 June 2018
New Zealanders could miss out on almost
$700million worth of household savings and social benefits if the Government’s
flagship KiwiBuild programme constructs homes only to the minimum legal
standards, a new report released today (Tuesday) suggests.
The report, written by economic consultancy
Sense Partners, compares the costs and benefits of building the 100,000
KiwiBuild homes to the New Zealand Building Code, and to a higher quality,
independent standard, called Homestar.
Building KiwiBuild homes to the Homestar
standard could see total benefits of over $680million. These benefits would
include savings in electricity and water bills for those living in KiwiBuild
homes, and also social benefits through reduced climate change pollution, waste
and water runoff.
The report, called Codebusters: an analysis of constructing KiwiBuild homes to a standard
above the New Zealand Building Code, concludes that, if KiwiBuild homes are
built to a higher quality than the Building Code, 'the private benefits
outweigh the costs, and there are also substantial social benefits. There is
compelling evidence to move towards higher quality homes.’
Report author Shamubeel Eaqub will present the
findings of the report to hundreds of New Zealanders involved in the housing sector tomorrow
(Wednesday) at The Housing Summit, held in Auckland.
The New Zealand Building Code is recognised as
being behind international standards, and has been criticised by leading global
organisations including the International Energy Agency and the Organisation
for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The Government still has an opportunity to
improve standards KiwiBuild homes will be required to meet, for factors such as
heating, insulation and ventilation.
Andrew Eagles, chief executive of the New
Zealand Green Building Council, who oversee Homestar, said: “Right now the
Government has a once in a generation opportunity to make our homes better. The
huge benefits of building KiwiBuild homes to a quality that New Zealanders
deserve are clear and compelling – economically, socially and environmentally.
“The Government must seize this opportunity,
and clearly indicate that all KiwiBuild homes will be authenticated to a
standard higher than the Building Code. Doing so will deliver higher quality
homes and millions of dollars of benefits for New Zealanders.”
Report author Shamubeel Eaqub said: “Building
at a higher standard is a no brainer. But up front costs are putting off too
many people. KiwiBuild is a 100,000 reasons to move New Zealand to a higher
standard of homes. The scale and experience will bring down costs and build
capability in the sector. We have to start now, else we will be locking in
inefficiencies for many decades to come.”
Homestar measures the health,
warmth and efficiency of New Zealand houses, and homes that meet the Homestar
standard are rated on a scale from 6 to 10. A 6 Homestar rating or higher means
that a house will be better quality - warmer, drier, healthier and cost less to
run - than a typical new house built to building code.
Read the full report here.