New Zealand Labour Party

New study shows Smith’s insulation fails Kiwi kids

A new Otago University study shows Nick Smith’s inadequate insulation standards will see hundreds of children unnecessarily hospitalised for housing-related illnesses every year, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“Labour Leader Andrew Little’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill – which will be debated next week – would close National’s loophole that permits old 1978 insulation standards.

“The study released today found that properly insulating all houses to current 2008 standards would reduce child hospitalisations by 6 per cent.

“With 50,000 children admitted to hospital each year with mainly respiratory conditions such as asthma caused by cold, damp housing; that’s up to 3000 kids a year unnecessarily suffering.

“The study criticises Nick Smith’s Bill for leaving the majority of rental properties with insulation at the much lower and inadequate 1978 standards.

“It shows that draft regulations released alongside Nick Smith’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill are a missed opportunity to stop children dying in unhealthy homes.

“Andrew Little’s Bill will guarantee Kiwi kids living in rental properties can grow up in a warm, dry and healthy home. It will require all rental properties to have affordable heating, ventilation and modern insulation,” Phil Twyford says.