New Zealand Labour Party

National playing politics with children’s lives

John Key’s Government is playing political games with the lives of children by refusing to support a bill which will ensure every home in the country is warm and dry, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.

“National says that the benefits of higher heating and insulation standards in rentals aren’t worth the costs. The truth is that Nick Smith didn’t even bother to do the costings when he rejected the option of requiring 2008 insulation standards which my bill will enforce.

“The Government’s own analysis shows adopting modern standards would improve living conditions in rentals – but National doesn’t think those families are worth it.

“A new Otago University Study shows that adopting 2008 insulation standards, rather than the old 1978 standards, would keep thousands of kids a year out of hospital. That’s good for the kids, it’s good for their parents who save on doctors’ visits and medicines, and it’s good for the health system that’s already buckling under National’s cuts.

“This bill isn’t about dollars and cents. It’s about doing what’s right. Landlords, like any other business, shouldn’t be allowed to make money from an unsafe product. In 2016 Kiwi kids shouldn’t be getting sick because they live in cold, damp, mouldy rentals and we shouldn’t have a Government on the side of slum landlords not some of our most vulnerable families.

“I am asking every MP to stand on the side of our children today and vote for my Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill. National, instead, will play political games,” Andrew Little says.