Warm, dry healthy rental homes a step closer

Landlords would be required to make sure their rental properties are warm and dry through a Labour Member’s Bill to be debated by Parliament, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.

“This Bill was lodged following the tragic death of Emma-Lita Bourne in a cold, damp Auckland state house. 

“But it is not just substandard state houses which are making our kids sick. There are many private rentals in just as poor a condition as the home that contributed to the toddler’s death.

Research shows that just over 70 per cent of children in poverty live in rental accommodation and the majority – 53 per cent – live in private rentals.

“Housing Minister Nick Smith has given landlords four years to insulate their properties. But without providing heating, an insulated home is still cold. My Bill would introduce minimum standards for both heating and insulation,” Andrew Little says.

Two other important issues will also be debated by Parliament after Bills by Labour MPs David Shearer and David Cunliffe were also pulled from the ballot today.

David Shearer says his Electricity Transparency Bill will require power companies to itemise the components arising from generation, transmission, distribution, retail and taxes and levies on electricity bills.

“It will also require them to show how much power comes from renewable sources.

“Electricity prices should be going down, not up. The players all blame each other for the rises, while quietly pocketing a proportion of the increases. Unbundling bills will give consumers a clear understanding of who is responsible for any price increases.”

David Cunliffe’s Education (Restoration of Democracy to University Councils) Amendment Bill will make sure students and university staff are represented on their councils and restrict ministerial appointees to four.

“My Bill will reverse the Government’s attempt to abolish democracy on university councils.

This legislation will be assisted by the invaluable input of universities, staff and student representatives during any select committee process,” David Cunliffe says.