A super summit and a significant step for healthy homes

30 April 2019

Just hours after hundreds of influential New Zealanders had gathered together to pack out the Aotea Centre in the heart of our biggest city for the Green Property Summit, a couple of dozen people, including me and some of the team from NZGBC Towers, were tucking into muesli and frittata in a Home Star rated apartment in Takapuna.

We were there to help launch ANZ’s healthy home loan package.

This ANZ package will offer discounts off home loans for Kiwis who buy, build or renovate a home that is rated Homestar 6 or above.

This great new initiative was launched alongside some short speeches from the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw, Legacy Property’s Mitchell Jefferson, and me.

It is really good news for all of us who want New Zealanders to live in healthy, warm homes. This healthy loan package should see the amount of Homestar rated homes soar, and will mean that many more Kiwis will be living in the standard of homes that they deserve. We are stoked.

Homestar 6 is the minimum warm, dry, healthy standard of home that Kiwi families deserve. New Zealanders – all of us – should be living in Homestar homes. And this announcement from ANZ is a great step to getting there.

A cheap home built just to the substandard Building Code will almost certainly perform poorly, and rack up higher household bills. Building to the minimum Homestar 6 standard will give you a better home and, because it rewards good, simple design choices, like placing windows to maximise sunlight, the costs are minimal, and the benefits for you and your family are extensive. We’d expect the higher end of building a typical home to a warm, dry minimum to be just $8000, and it will closer to half that in most cases.

Health, housing and the environment are all set to be included in the annual Budget, which will take place later this month. It will have a much-talked-about focus on wellbeing, and I anticipate it will contain much that is very relevant to the Green Building Council, our future work, and that of you, our members too. Watch this space, as we hope to provide you with our thoughts on the Budget very soon after it is delivered on 30 May.

The Green Property Summit was a day of collaboration, marked by many commitments to take action to make our buildings better. It was amazing to hear the breadth of projects certifying to Green Star: hotels, retail, airport lounges, crematorium, churches, convention centres, industrial buildings, iconic buildings, even airplane hangers! One action that I heard several times was a commitment to energy efficiency transparency tool NABERSNZ, with many attendees saying that if their landlord doesn’t have a NABERSNZ rating, then they’d ask them to get one. If you’d like to know more about NABERSNZ, then we’ve got free events very soon in both Wellington and Auckland. Do come along!

As always, do please drop me a line with any thoughts, comments or suggestions.

Ngā mihi o te tau hou

Andrew

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