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Insulation and smoke alarms only half the answer

Minimum insulation standards and smoke alarms for private rental properties are at least a step in the right direction but the Government could and should do so much more, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“Insulating a cold house without requiring modern efficient heating will still leave tenants at risk of respiratory diseases.

“Sadly this is the kind of grudging half-measure that’s become the trade mark of National’s housing policy, where initiatives are only announced when they are forced by public opinion.

“New Zealanders want the Government to ensure all rental properties are warm and dry. Many families are already struggling to afford to heat their homes and we are only half way through a bitterly cold winter.

“It’s the right thing to do and it’s an economic no-brainer given that for every $1 spent on retrofitting the country saves $5 on public health expenditure.

“More than half of all New Zealanders are renters. It is past time the Government made serious reforms to make rentals warm and dry, and encouraged more security of tenure and longer-term leases.

“That is what Labour would do. Only requiring insulation and smoke alarms falls far short of what is needed,” Phil Twyford says.