Minimum standards needed now to stop more kids from getting sick

The Government is allowing Kiwi children to become seriously ill because it refuses to create minimum health and safety standards for rental homes and properly renovate state houses, the Green Party said today.

Despite it being spring, stories continue to emerge of New Zealanders becoming sick because of the cold, damp and mouldy state homes they’re forced to live in, with the Tihore-Aue family of Porirua the latest to speak out.

“Thousands and thousands of Kiwis are living with black mould growing up the walls, gushing leaks and freezing cold draughts because of the National Government’s ongoing neglect of state homes,” said Green Party social housing spokesperson Marama Davidson.

“According to Housing New Zealand, the Tihore-Aue family have had their state home ‘upgraded’.

“But then you see the mould is still everywhere in their house and the photos of their sick baby in hospital, and it’s impossible to see how Housing New Zealand can say they’ve upgraded the house.

“Instead of fixing mouldy, unsafe state homes, Paula Bennett has resorted to stirring up vitriol against the few people who refuse to live in them.

“If this was Paula Bennett’s own home, she would have had the tradies back there in a second to finish the job and fix the house properly.

“If the Government really cared it could adopt the Green Party’s Warm, Safe and Secure Rentals Bill tomorrow so that Kiwi families who rent don’t have to live in squalor.

“Introducing minimum standards is the best way to fix our cold, mouldy, shoddy houses – the Government’s hands-off approach is only going to end up in more Kiwi kids getting sick,” said Ms Davidson.

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