Source: Beehive, 1 December 2017
Every New Zealander deserves a warm, healthy home to live
in, and the Health Homes Guarantee Act will help ensure that, said
Minister of Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford.
"The passing of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act is a huge
leap forward for public health and is another one of the Labour-led
Government's 100 Day promises kept," Mr Twyford says.
"Until now, rental properties have been treated
differently from other products. A butcher isn't allowed to sell
meat that will make their customers sick, but a landlord has
allowed to rent out a house that is too cold, or damp and damages
the health of its occupants.
"Most landlords do a good job, but the fact is the lack of
legal standards means some rentals are not currently fit to live
in. 40,000 children a year are admitted to hospital due to diseases
are related to poor housing, and 1,600 New Zealanders' lives a cut
short by illnesses caused by living in cold, damp conditions. This
has to change. Thanks to this law, it will.
"I want to thank Andrew Little for his work in
bringing this legislation to Parliament and through its first
stages as a Member's Bill. I also want to acknowledge the support
of New Zealand First and the Greens in passing the Bill into law.
National will have to explain to New Zealanders why they have stood
beside a few slum landlords, rather than stood up for the health of
"This law enables the Government to set standards for
rental housing quality. The Healthy Homes standards will cover
heating, insulation, ventilation, draught stopping, drainage and
moisture. Many landlords will already meet these standards and will
not have to change anything. For those that need to upgrade their
properties, government grants for installing heating and insulation
will be available.
"The Government will run a consultation process over the
next 18 months to ensure that tenants, landlords, public health and
building science experts and industry representatives have an
opportunity to get involved in creating robust minimum standards"
Mr Twyford says.