Nick Smith must explain why he won’t save lives & add a WoF to rental housing bill

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith must explain how many New Zealanders need to die and be admitted to hospital before he will add a life-saving rental housing warrant of fitness to the Residential Tenancies Amendment (RTA) Bill, the Green Party said today.

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei will be questioning Minister Smith today on the true cost of his choice to not include a proper rentals warrant of fitness in the RTA Bill – New Zealanders dying and getting sick because of housing and poverty-related illnesses.

“A rental housing warrant of fitness will save lives and keep kids out of hospital – that’s the bottom line,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“Nick Smith has said that the cost of implementing a rentals warrant of fitness is too high. Today I’m going to ask Nick Smith how many New Zealanders must get sick and die from living in cold, damp homes before he’s prepared to ensure homes are safe enough to live in.

“New Zealanders would be horrified to hear the Government doesn’t think it’s ‘cost effective’ to save children and older people’s lives by making homes dry and warm.

“I very much doubt Nick Smith would tell that to the parents of a child with a heart condition or rheumatic fever, who’s grown up in a cold, damp, mouldy home.

“Many housing, health, and poverty experts agree that the best chance to prevent people getting sick and dying because they live in mouldy, damp, cold housing is to introduce a rentals warrant of fitness.

“It’s the Government’s role to keep its citizens safe. With rental housing, the National Government is completely dropping the ball,” said Mrs Turei. 

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