Govt’s half-baked housing quality standards nowhere near enough

The Government’s proposed health and safety standards for rental properties are nowhere near enough to fix the shoddy state of cold, damp New Zealand homes and keep Kiwi kids from getting seriously sick, the Green Party said today.

“If John Key thinks smoke alarms and insulation will stop our children from falling sick because of the appalling state of the houses they’re forced to live in, he is kidding himself and New Zealanders,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“Emma-Lita Bourne lived in a house with insulation, and yet she still lost her life.

“New Zealanders will still be living in cold, damp death-traps under the Government’s proposed ‘regulations’.

“These are half-baked measures that don’t offer the guarantees that a properly enforced housing warrant of fitness would.

“The proposal doesn’t even allow for ongoing inspections of properties to check the standards are being upheld, which shows that this Government is mostly interested in protecting landlords’ interests, rather than the welfare of renters.

“A proper housing warrant of fitness would provide renters with insulated, heated homes, with ventilation, safe electrical wirings and properly connected drains.

“Enforcing these standards would mean no Kiwi family would have to live in a mouldy, cold, damp rental house which is a health hazard.

“John Key’s measly insulation and smoke alarm plans just aren’t going to cut it.

“National is choosing to work at a snail’s pace when it comes to doing anything about the appalling state of houses in this country, and that approach could cost more people their lives,” said Mrs Turei.