Large, unprecedented alliance calls on political parties to make housing promises ahead of election

16 January 2023

A large and unprecedented new alliance of business, health, sustainability, environmental, consumer, building and housing organisations are today calling on all political parties to prioritise a ‘pollution busting home reno programme’ for hundreds of thousands of homes if elected.

Consumer NZ, the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation, Greenpeace Aotearoa, the Sustainable Business Network, Lawyers for Climate Action, the New Zealand Institute of Building, Bayleys, Vector, JLL, Bunnings, Architectural Designers New Zealand, Sustainability Trust, Community Housing Aotearoa, the Insulation Association of New Zealand, Knauf Insulation, Beca, Community Energy Network, Passive House Institute New Zealand, SuperHome Movement, eHaus, Inzide, Architectus, Professor Robyn Phipps, and the Green Building Council have joined forces to ask political parties to promise a ‘fully funded ambitious’ roll out to improve at least 200,000 homes.

In a joint statement released today, the groups say:

We’re calling on every political party to promise now that, if part of the next government, they will have within six months of being elected a fully funded ambitious plan to roll out a pollution busting home reno programme for at least 200,000 homes within nine years, which will slash carbon emissions and household bills, and improve the health of thousands of New Zealanders, young and old, and create tens of thousands of jobs.”

The most recent census discovered that over 300,000 homes in New Zealand were always or sometimes damp, more than 250,000 homes had visible mould larger than A4 size at least some of the time, and that Māori and Pacific peoples were more likely to live in homes affected by dampness or mould than other ethnic groups. Over two in five Māori and Pacific peoples lived in damp housing.

Ambitiously renovating New Zealand homes would make a fully renewable, fossil fuel free electricity system easier and cheaper to achieve by dramatically reducing electricity demand for heating – while also helping to alleviate the so-called ‘dry year problem’, recent research has found.

Housing is the second most important voting issue for New Zealanders, according to polling by Curia Market Research.

The Green Building Council’s chief executive Andrew Eagles said: “This is a large and formidable alliance of organisations, and the breadth of issues that they cover shows the staggeringly wide level of concern at the sorry state of homes in Aotearoa.

“These influential and diverse voices are now asking all political parties for solid action to improve hundreds of thousands of homes. Doing so would have huge benefits for New Zealanders – cutting household bills, improving health, slashing carbon pollution, and creating thousands of jobs, helping a just transition.

“This is just the beginning. We’re asking all organisations who want better homes for everyone in Aotearoa to add their voice to this growing coalition by going to thehomeswedeserve.org.nz.”

Jon Iliffe of eHaus said: “There has never been a better time than now to future proof against fuel poverty by lowering the amount of energy required in our homes to stay healthy. There is no question that this is one of the best investments we can make for the benefit of all.”

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