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National breaks promise to insulate every state house

National has broken its promise to insulate every state house by the end of 2013, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.

"Of the 68,386 houses under Housing New Zealand's management, 30 percent have not been insulated. That is a dismal failure which shows National cannot be trusted to keep its promises," Mrs Turei said.

"National promised in its 2011 election manifesto that, 'by the end of 2013, every state house built before 1978 that can be practically insulated, will be insulated'."

In answer to written questions, Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith said the Government hadn't recorded the number of properties insulated, nor did it record among those it had failed to insulate, how many had received the alternative of 'energy efficient interventions'.

"Dr Nick Smith can't quantify how many houses have had these alternative interventions, nor how much they cost. That is just unacceptable," Mrs Turei said.

"This comes as the Government is winding down the successful Warm Up New Zealand home insulation scheme, when the job is far from done.

"Insulating homes realises huge benefits for families and the economy. For every dollar invested in insulation there are $5 of health improvements, mostly to the public health system.

"Research by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research shows the greatest benefits from insulation are for people on low-incomes, who are at higher risk of health issues," Mrs Turei said.

"It's not just a broken promise, it's poor economics.

"Warm Up New Zealand succeeded in insulating 235,000 Kiwi homes, creating $1.3 billion of benefits, but another 600,000 households would benefit from insulation and clean heating."

The Green Party will restart the Warm Up New Zealand insulation scheme with a $327 million investment that will insulate 200,000 poorly insulated homes across New Zealand.

"Our new housing policy will ensure more New Zealanders have a warm, dry and healthy home.

"Home insulation and clean heating are the most powerful ways to reduce the cold and damp in New Zealand homes, and reduce power bills," Mrs Turei said.