Ensuring every house is warm, dry and safe

Andrew Little just tweeted:

I’m sending a letter to John Key asking him to ensure that every rental is warm, dry and safe.

Add your name here: http://go.labour.org.nz/healthy-homes

I couldn’t resist replying:

@AndrewLittleMP Do you want @JohnKeyNZ to personally ensure every rental is warm dry and safe, or should an army of checker uppers be used?

Most of my house is cold right now. The lounge has been heated for a while, and I’ve just switched on heating in the bedroom to warm it up. I turn a heater on in the bathroom when I have a shower, then turn it off again.

If we don’t dehumidify or ventilate then any room in our house gets damp, and if we aren’t vigilant we can get mould.

But I don’t want heat and humidity checkers coming around threatening to arrest us if we aren’t warm or dry enough.

Ok, we don’t have a rental property, we sort of own it. But we often have a young child staying (and don’t heat their bedroom through the night).

How the hell can John Key “personally ensure every rental is warm dry and safe”?

Here is Little’s letter:

Open Letter to John Key:

Dear Prime Minister John Key,

We are writing to you to seek your cooperation in ensuring that New Zealanders who rent have warm, healthy homes.

We know that, like all New Zealanders, you will have been deeply upset by the coroner’s finding that a state house was so cold, damp, and unhealthy that it contributed to the death of two year old Emma-Lita Bourne.

That should never happen in New Zealand and is a matter that is beyond party politics. It goes to the core of who we are as a society.

Your party has said that it wants to fix the issue of cold, damp rentals, and we believe that commitment is genuine. Now we want you to work constructively with us; to take the next step and ensure every rental property has insulation and effective heating.

We welcome news that the Government is working on some standards for rentals but we are concerned that they will not be strong enough. We need to ensure that all rental houses will be warm, dry, and safe for the families that live in them.

When Parliament next sits, Labour will be seeking leave to re-introduce the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill that will set standards for insulation and heating in rental properties. We want to work with you to find a way that National can support this Bill and help ensure that every Kiwi house is a safe and healthy home.


Andrew Little, Leader of the Opposition
and 786 other New Zealanders.

Go sign it if you like:http://go.labour.org.nz/healthy-homes

But note that there are no specifics about how warm, dry and safe houses can be ensured.

Perhaps you can let Little know how it could be ensured. A heater for every room, a humidifier for every house, and a $500 per month power credit for every household?

Little has been captured by the banal bullshit brigade.

Leave a comment


  1. kittycatkin

     /  9th June 2015

    What ! You don’t heat the bedrooms up to 22o all night ? Oh-we don’t either and I have no intention of doing so. Maybe Andrew Little hasn’t heard of blankets or hot water bottles or long nighties or…oh, for goodness sake. We have a little bathroom heater & I use it when I’m in there. I don’t have it going all the time. I don’t have heaters going anywhere all the time. The ideal 22o that we keep hearing about is crazy.. Why would I spend a fortune on power so that I can wear a t-shirt in winter or sleep with just a sheet over me ?

    I suspect that the man who’s being described now as having died because of the house died in part because he was so fat. Why haven’t the rest of the family died or been ill ? The death of the two year old whom the press have reported as dying because of the cold, damp house was ill, indeed, and this was a contributing factor, but the house didn’t kill her-unless the medical people are, for reasons unknown, downplaying its role. Why didn’t the mother take her to hospital ?

    I can’t believe that anyone can’t afford to run one heater.

  2. kittycatkin

     /  9th June 2015

    I have just read that Andrew Little thing; talk about emotive language. Yes, it was tragic that the two year old died, but I would suspect that if the mother had taken her to hospital earlier it wouldn’t have happened.

  3. Tony

     /  9th June 2015

    And what does Andrew propose to do about the thousands of cold, damp owner-occupier homes? Is it a socialist principle to spend taxpayers money solving the problem for those who ill-treat properties that dont belong to them, but not give any assistance to those who have struggled to provide for themselves but can afford to buy only cold damp houses – exactly the same types of houses that renters occupy.

  4. Pierre

     /  9th June 2015

    When I was growing up we would put a towel on the windowsill at night during winter. That way when the ice on the (inside of the) window melted it wouldn’t run down the wall and peel off the wallpaper. Not sure what Andy would make of that. Oh wait, we owned it so not a rental so that should have been okay then.

  5. David

     /  9th June 2015

    Sheesh when the kids were,young our owner occupied in Invercargill was freezing and typical of NZ rubbish buildings but we survived. Quite surprised that all the cold damp issues are in Auckland and Northland which is sub tropical yet southlanders seem to be able to look after their own kiddies.
    As a landlord with 23 houses which are all insulated and all have heat pumps and happy tenants I get a bit pissed off with the labelling of all landlords as the devils spawn. Still if Little wants to position himself there that is his funeral, I know a lot of people who have a rental as a retirement plan and they are all good working class and middle class folk who like long term and happy tenants.

  6. kittycatkin

     /  11th June 2015

    I couldn’t believe a debate (for want of a better word) that went on in Sideswipe about smoke alarms. Some people believed that it was the landlord’s responsibility, Thus THEY were not going to buy them. How pathetic. Risking your life for so little money.

    The state house tenants pay at most 25% of their income for rent. How can they not afford any kind of heating ? We are not mean with heating and it doesn’t bankrupt us. I was also surprised that these people were so cold in Auckland-we live 100km south of Auckland, and we aren’t freezing. How could the mother let her child become so ill when it’s free to take a child inder 6 to a doctor ?

    I can’t understand anyone not knowing about the strips of draughtstopping stuff that you stick on or being too mean to buy some themselves and put them on ? It’s a very tedious job and I hate it, but I also hate draughts !

    The people whom we’ve seen don’t seem to expect to do much for themselves.


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