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Poor New Zealanders forced to keep their heater turned off

Low-income New Zealanders are struggling to keep warm this winter, the Green Party said today.

A new report by Statistics New Zealand revealed that around one in three New Zealand households are experiencing some form of energy hardship.

“It’s disgraceful that almost one in three New Zealand households are having to keep the heater turned off because they can’t afford to pay the electricity bill,” said Green Party social housing spokesperson Marama Davidson.

20 Kiwi kids are dying every year from cold, damp housing, and there are more than 40,000 hospital admissions for children a year from conditions related to poor housing – that’s a national disgrace.

“Poorer families shouldn’t have to choose between putting food on their table or keeping their house warm.

“In government, we will implement winter energy payments to assist more than half a million low-income households pay their bills during winter.

“In the long-term, the Green Party will permanently lower the cost of heating through insulation subsidies, and a mandatory rental warrant of fitness,” said Ms Davidson.