Six hundred families living on the poverty line will receive free ceiling and floor insulation to improve their health.
The Waikato District Health Board announced this week that the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) would fund the initiative, to make it more affordable for people to heat homes and stay warm and healthy.
About 270,000 New Zealand children live below the poverty line, with many more children living just above it.
These children, many across the Waikato, live in cold homes.
This, combined with poverty, had a huge impact on the health of many families, Waikato District Health Board Te Puna Oranga (Maori Health Unit) general manager Ditre Tamatea said.
"Most at risk are vulnerable babies and young children, who have no control over their circumstances," he said.
Poverty and poorly insulated homes were a particular issue for Maori and Pacific families, with more than 50 per cent living in the three most deprived deciles in the Waikato.
"Respiratory disease is the most likely result of a poorly insulated house and young children are the groups who are most at risk from the disease."
Te Puna Oranga will manage the scheme with the EECA and two insulation companies. It is an extension of the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme.
CRITERIA FOR INSULATION INITIATIVE
The home must have been built before 2000 and be within 30 kilometres of Hamilton. The primary property resident or owner must have a community services card. There must be children under 16 living, or frequently staying, in the home. The house is not a Housing New Zealand property.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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