Election 2023: Party policy stocktake
Election 2023 provides the country’s politicians with an opportunity to present their party's thoughts, ideas, and vision for the future. So, what are their plans for the built environment, and are they committed to some of the vital industry leadership initiatives we here at the New Zealand Green Building Council have been advocating for?
This year we have approached the main political parties for their positions on four key issues for decarbonising our sector – improving our building regulations, government procurement, energy labels for buildings, and improving the state of our existing homes.
We are publishing these responses as part of the NZGBC’s party policy stocktake to provide accessible information on where each party stands.
Why our homes and buildings matter
Our homes should be healthy, happy places, where we laugh, cry, play, eat, and make cherished memories together. Our buildings should be places where we build businesses and careers, where our children learn, and where our loved ones are cared for.
But our homes and buildings are now on the frontline of storms and floods, which are fueled by pollution. This has been all too clear in recent months.
And around 20% of that pollution is caused by our built environment, when they are built using carbon intensive products and materials, and when they use too much energy to keep warm and bright – creating even more pollution.
Making all our homes and buildings, warm, healthy, cosy places is the right thing to do. It will drive damp and mould out of our homes, keeping thousands young and old out of hospital. It will keep bills low – which will likely be all too welcome as costs of living rise. It will make businesses more productive and efficient. And it will play a key part in a cleaner, green, less polluted Aotearoa.
That’s why the Green Building Council cares about better homes and buildings, for everyone.
The table below outlines whether or not a party has committed to;
- amending the building code to reduce operational & embodied carbon emissions considerably by the early 2030s
- requiring new public buildings and homes meet verified sustainability standards
- for energy transparency labels on existing buildings enabling the market to see which buildings cost less to run.
Commitment to reducing emissions through building regulations by the early 2030s
Verified sustainable standards for new public buildings
Energy transparency labels on existing buildings
New Zealand First replied that they could not provide answers on specific policies at this stage
Te Pāti Māori**
*to the extent it efficiently reduces emissions
**Te Pāti Māori have confirmed these answers with the NZGBC
In addition, we have analysed public party policy aimed at improving the health and energy efficiency of our existing housing stock. Where no public policy is available, we have approached party’s for clarification.
This table will be regularly updated as party policy is released
Party policy aimed at addressing New Zealand's unhealthy, inefficient homes
No policy addressing this issue.
“ACT policy regarding climate change is simple – ACT strongly support a capped Emissions Trading Scheme”
- Grants of up to $6,000 to cover the cost of installing solar power, and making energy efficient and zero carbon upgrades to homes, such as installing insulation and electric heat pumps and hot water heat pumps.
- Interest-free loans of up to $30,000 to cover the remaining cost of additional zero carbon home upgrades, attached to the home and re-paid through council rates.
- Tax deductible zero carbon upgrades for rental homes, so both tenants and landlords can benefit from energy efficient homes powered by clean, renewable energy.
- The Climate Emergency Response Fund will pay for the Clean Power Payment. This means the price our big polluters pay for their emissions will be recycled straight back into making our homes healthier and more energy efficient.
- Scale up solar on Kainga Ora homes to 30,000 more households in the next three years, so that more Kainga Ora tenants can benefit from saving on their power bills.
- Expand Warmer Kiwi Homes to cover more zero carbon and healthy homes upgrades such as replacing gas heaters with electric heat pumps and installing ventilation.
- Fund Community Energy providers and by Māori, for Māori, approaches to help whānau keep their homes warm, dry and maximise their energy savings.
- A Rental Warrant of Fitness to enforce the Healthy Homes Standards and other relevant health, building and fire safety requirements by creating a regulatory checklist, and requiring rental homes to have an independent compliance certificate.
- Extending the Healthy Homes Standards to include minimum heating requirements for all bedrooms, to guarantee that everyone who rents will be able to sleep in a warm, dry bedroom.
- A national register of all landlords and property managers to show, amongst other things, compliance of rental homes with the Rental Warrant of Fitness.
- Extension till June 2027 - will cover components like hot water heating upgrades and LEDs. It will receive $402.6m allocated over four years.
- The new criteria will support the Government’s target of over 26,000 heating and insulation retrofits being delivered each year.
Healthier homes under Homestar – commitment to all new Kāinga Ora builds being built to Homestar standards.
Kāinga Ora Retrofit Programme which seeks to make improvements to our older public housing stock.
- Rebates of up to $18,000 for deep retrofit of an existing home.
- Encourages air tightness, insulation, double-glazing and electrification.
- Up to $7,000 for partial retrofits like double-glazing and insulation.
- Up to $3,000 for households who electrify and move off gas.
Removing all coal boilers from schools and hospitals within two years.
- Increasing our resilience as we build back from the severe weather events earlier this year and delivering a new climate adaptation and managed retreat framework to support local communities to plan, prevent and re-build.
- Removing diesel generators from all schools.
Continuing with existing government policy.
“We support continued efforts to improve the energy efficiency and health of existing homes. The prime areas of focus are loss of heat through windows and walls and making sure floors are properly insulated when installed. We will achieve this by ensuring standards focus on key areas and allowing more innovative products from overseas that have been properly accredited to be used more quickly in NZ. At present the barriers to introducing new products are significant. However, we will not support new standards that add cost but do not substantially improve the energy efficiency or heat loss of buildings.”
New Zealand First replied they could not provide answers on specific policies at this stage
Te Pāti Māori
To continue and expand the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme*
*Te Pāti Māori have confirmed this answer with the NZGBC.
Authorised by Andrew Eagles, New Zealand Green Building Council, Level 2, Tower 1, 205 Queen Street, Auckland 1010