Election 2023: Political parties called upon to introduce 'pollution-busting home reno programme' after election

  • 16/01/2023
A number of different groups are making the call.
A number of different groups are making the call. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Political parties are being called upon to introduce a "pollution-busting home reno programme" for at least 200,000 homes should they be elected into Government at this year's election.

A large group of consumer, health, environmental, building and business organisations are making the call, saying houses across the country need to be upgraded to improve the lives of New Zealanders. 

"We’re calling on every political party to promise now that, if part of the next Government, they will have within six months of being elected a fully-funded ambitious plan to roll out a pollution-busting home reno programme for at least 200,000 homes within nine years, which will slash carbon emissions and household bills, and improve the health of thousands of New Zealanders, young and old, and create tens of thousands of jobs," a joint statement said.

The organisations involved include Consumer NZ, Greenpeace Aotearoa, the New Zealand Institute of Building, Vector,  Bunnings, Beca, and Community Energy Network.

They point to data from the 2018 census which showed more than 300,000 homes in New Zealand were always or sometimes damp, while 250,000 had mould larger than an A4 piece of paper. Over two in five Māori and Pacific peoples lived in damp housing, the data showed, with Māori and Pacific peoples more likely than others to live in homes affected by dampness or mould.

The groups believe an ambitious renovation programme "would make a fully renewable, fossil fuel free electricity system easier and cheaper to achieve by dramatically reducing electricity demand for heating".

Andrew Eagles, chief executive of the Green Building Council, another group involved, said it is a "large and formidable alliance" hoping political parties make the pledge.

"The breadth of issues that they cover shows the staggeringly wide level of concern at the sorry state of homes in Aotearoa.

"These influential and diverse voices are now asking all political parties for solid action to improve hundreds of thousands of homes.

"Doing so would have huge benefits for New Zealanders - cutting household bills, improving health, slashing carbon pollution, and creating thousands of jobs, helping a just transition."

Jon Iliffe of eHaus said, "There has never been a better time than now to future-proof against fuel poverty by lowering the amount of energy required in our homes to stay healthy. There is no question that this is one of the best investments we can make for the benefit of all."