Legislating for warm dry health homes

Newshub:  Mouldy homes causing children’s asthma – study

Half of New Zealand homes have mould in them, and new research shows a link between this and asthma in children.

A study carried out by researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington, shows that mould makes asthma worse but can also lead to the development of a first asthma attack in young children.

The study, published on Wednesday in the international journal Indoor Air was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

It investigated the homes of 150 children who had visited their GPs for their first prescribed asthma medication, and compared them to the homes of 300 matched children who had never wheezed.

We found that mould and leaks were more likely to be found in the bedrooms and homes of children who had just started wheezing compared to the children who had never wheezed,” says the study’s lead author, Dr Caroline Shorter.

“The amount of mould present in the bedroom made a difference – the more mould, the greater the risk that children would start wheezing.

“We urgently need to improve the quality of our children’s home environments.”

Grant Robertson:

Every child deserves to grow up in a warm, dry healthy home. Labour will make this the law.


Good insulation, working extractor fans, good heating throughout the home and secure windows that open are important, Dr Shorter said.

Frequent checks should be made for mould, she said.

“We need to reduce moisture in our homes by not drying clothes inside, and opening windows often to improve ventilation, even for just 10 minutes a day.”

How is this going to be legislated for? House police that do spot checks to make sure everyone is heating and ventilating their whole house and not drying washing inside?

Leave a comment


  1. NOEL

     /  9th September 2017

    In the past the sole focus was on warm homes.
    With the uptake of the subsidised roof insulation there are now plenty of warm humid homes.
    Next step will have to be subsidised positive air replacement systems if we really want to change the figures..


    • David

       /  9th September 2017

      Insulation does not create a warm home.

      • NOEL

         /  9th September 2017

        You’re right bug reports it slows the transfer of heat.
        Before insulation there could be a cold damp house.
        After insulation it’s possible to expect a warm humid house.
        Both lead to the growth of moulds.

        • David

           /  9th September 2017

          “Before insulation there could be a cold damp house.
          After insulation it’s possible to expect a warm humid house.”

          If you insulate a cold, damp house, you will still have a cold, damp house. If you want a warm house, you need to heat it. There is no avoiding this.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  9th September 2017

            I have been told that less heating is needed, to be fair,

            • David

               /  9th September 2017

              Insulation reduces the heat required to warm a cold house. It does not heat a cold house. Anyone who promotes insulation as a solution to cold homes is lying.

          • NOEL

             /  10th September 2017

            I did say insulation slows the transfervof heat. Of course you need a heat source Duh

  2. PDB

     /  9th September 2017

    No doubt the tenants will be the ones mainly to blame for not doing anything to air the house/clean the inside and the landlords will be the ones taken to task/punished for it by Labour if in govt.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  9th September 2017

      Not if instructions are handed to them and demonstrations given on how to open windows, how to pull back curtains during the day, how to CLEAN the bloody house. Or will all these things be done for them, with fines for landlords who don’t comply ?

      I am asthmatic, but didn’t live in damp, mouldy houses as a child. This sample is far too small. Did the parents smoke ? .

      Almost ANY house will grow mould if its not ventilated and cleaned. How often have we seen the houses of the people whinging about them being damp & mouldy with curtains across in the day ? People can’t be forced to be clean and open windows, alas.

  3. Gezza

     /  9th September 2017

    150 seems quite a small study.

    • Gezza

       /  9th September 2017

      I grew up with asthma, from 3 months of age. None of my siblings got it. Our house didn’t have insulation. There was never any mould. Mum was a stay at home housewife until we were old enough for her to get a job. She was a regular weekly cleaner, duster, & vacuumer – not a fanatic though – unless rellies were coming. Then it was get out of her way! Dad smoked inside though.

  4. pickled possum

     /  9th September 2017

    ‘Mould makes asthma worse … can also lead to the development of a
    first asthma attack in young children’

    What about the Pine tree Pollen? That is cruel!
    I have seen grown men and woman succumb to their infantile needy ways
    when brought down by this Pine tree Pollen Blues.
    Children’s eyes water, they sniff, sniff, cry, cough and get head aches.
    Generally pretty blood miserable and an infection in your respiratory system
    can’t be good for you in the future..

    This pollen allergy happens most in the back blocks, where the housing is
    surrounded by pine tree forests The children suffer ‘cold’ like symptoms,
    left to run it course, this hay fever can turn into infected sinus and then its all down hill.
    next thing you know the children are on a vaporiser sucking up ‘special’ air.
    For asthma.

    NZ produces 4.5 million tons of pine tree pollen and most of it goes into the sea
    Pollen from New Zealand pine forests has been shown to travel more
    than 1500 km through wind and ocean currents
    and sink thousands of metres into the ocean.
    Some was found 3,000 kilometres from New Zealand in the Tonga Trench
    in a depth of 10,000 metres.

    Look at this Big Pine tree pollen dust cloud

    Find out about allergy time with the Palmy Pollen Calendar
    http://palmyweather.co.nz/pollen 😉

  5. David

     /  9th September 2017

    Another university of Otago study, sorry but most of their studies are shockingly awful and unscientific and usually plain wrong.

  6. artcroft

     /  10th September 2017

    The good thing here is that those who don’t heat or air their accommodation don’t vote. So Labour and the Greens, can demand landlords wipe their tenants backsides but they’ll lose at election time.

  7. Blazer

     /  10th September 2017

    National have just announced an increase of $10,000 in house prices ..today…unbelievable.!


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