​A budget, a bill, and our buildings

28 May 2019

Tomorrow the Government will deliver the first Wellbeing Budget at 2pm. It’s sure to garner airtime, screen space and column inches across media outlets in Aotearoa, and overseas too.

The New Zealand Green Building Council has secured a spot in the Budget lock-up, amongst the political journalists and leading analysts. That means we’ll get early access to the details of the Budget, directly from the Finance Minister, and other Minsters too.

Do keep an eye on your inbox tomorrow afternoon as we’ll send you our take on the Budget, and highlight the implications for all of us working to make buildings and homes better.

The Prime Minister has identified a shift to a low-emissions and sustainable economy as a key priority for Budget 2019. We’ll be watching out for any new infrastructure projects in the Budget, such as schools and hospitals and, to make sure that they’re part of this shift, we’ll be doing what we can to ensure these projects deliver green buildings.This will deliver less waste, more resilience, healthier buildings and lower carbon impacts for generations.

Some of the other measures we hope to see include further steps, above the healthy homes standards, to make all our homes healthy and warm. The Government’s healthy homes standards were quite rightly warmly welcomed, but there’s still lots of work to do to make sure all our homes are fit for New Zealanders to live in.

Far, far too many New Zealanders live in homes that just aren’t good enough, that are unhealthy, and Thursday’s Wellbeing Budget could be a great step forward to fixing this, and make all our homes healthy, warm and dry places to thrive in, and to build lifelong happy memories in.

If all New Zealand homes were warm, dry, and energy efficient, New Zealanders would save hundreds of millions of dollars every single year, providing a huge financial boost for the country.

The not-for-profit group, who campaign for all New Zealanders to live in warm, healthy homes, and to clean up building and construction pollution, also called for measures to slash climate change emissions to be included in the Budget, and for any new infrastructure projects such as schools or hospitals to deliver healthy, green buildings.

Highly energy efficient, healthy green schools and universities would surely be welcomed by the hundreds of young people who took some time off classes last week and marched right through the heart of Auckland’s CBD, and right under the offices here at the Green Building Council. It was a great sight, and a vital reminder that climate change is not a distant problem, it is one we must – together – work to solve right here and right now.

The zero carbon bill, a key piece of legislation intended to tackle climate change, is open for submissions. It’s important that all of us who want this legislation to be strong and effective have a say, so do make a submission.

Buildings in New Zealand belch out around 20% of our climate change pollution. Alongside our friends at Enviromark, we’re developing a framework to shift our buildings to net zero carbon.

As part of this, we’re holding public events around Aotearoa to listen to everyone who wants to tackle this problem, to collaborate and support each other’s mahi, and to share our thoughts too.

Do please come along and join us at these events.

Kia kaha.

Andrew

As always, do drop me a line with any thoughts or suggestions email Andrew.