Christchurch needs 'smarter' rebuild

Family hopes for Greens 'smarter' homes policy

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 14:27 26/05/2014
Woolston couple
DEAN KOZANIC

'SMARTER' HOMES: Woolston couple Sarah Campagnolo and Matthew Walker, and their daughter Zia, hope to benefit from the Green Party's smarter housing policy.

Metiria Turei
DEAN KOZANIC
'SMARTER' HOMES: Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei launched the party's housing policy in Christchurch today, promising to invest $62 million to improve the city's homes.

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Christchurch homes need to be rebuilt "smarter" to stop making families sick, the Green Party says.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei launched the party's housing policy in Christchurch today, promising to invest $62 million to improve the city's homes.

The policy included:

- a $25m fund to help residents put insulation in their walls if they were still doing major repairs after the earthquakes.

- $2m to help people navigate the complexities of post-quake rebuilding.

- $35m to help insulate and install clean-heating devices in Canterbury homes.

The $35m had been "ring-fenced" for Christchurch from a larger scheme to provide insulation and clean-heating for 200,000 homes across the country, expected to cost $300m over three years.

The Government's Heat Smart scheme, part of a deal National made with the Greens in 2009, helped insulate about 235,000 homes around the country before it was replaced by the Healthy Homes scheme. The latter scheme had insulated 12,000 homes out of a targeted 46,000 since late last year.

However, Turei said about 600,000 Kiwi homes would benefit from insulation and clean heating.

"They're cold, they're damp and they make families sick," Turei said.

"We know there's a surplus; we think that insulating all New Zealand homes ... returns money back to New Zealand in health and education. It is worth the dollars we spend."

Christchurch couple Sarah Campagnolo and Matthew Walker bought their Woolston home after its earthquake repairs were completed, missing a chance to make their home warmer for their 1-year-old daughter.

The "middle income" couple recently secured a loan to install a new heat pump and ceiling insulation, but could not afford to consider floor insulation yet.

"I think the investment in insulation is an investment in the people of New Zealand," Walker said.

"It's an investment that's easier for the Government to make than us."

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