While it may seem a little alarmist, I found it interesting to read about a recent study in New Zealand that tied comfort and moisture levels in the home, directly to health outcomes. It turns out that warm well insulated homes may not only be comfy, but might also be a little healthier. I would think that this transposes well to our colder more varied (Chinooks) weather patterns.
Two new health reports identifying damp housing as one of the root causes of child illness is further evidence of the need to extend the successful Warm Up New Zealand insulation scheme, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.
"Getting adequate insulation into kiwi homes isn't a ‘nice to have’; it is a health priority," Mrs Turei said "New research released from the University of Canterbury links poor home heating to increased asthma hospital admissions. "This comes on the back of a report yesterday linking rheumatic fever to damp housing.
"New Zealand has one of the highest asthma and rheumatic fever rates among developed countries. Home insulation can play a big part in reducing those rates. "The Warm up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme was negotiated by the Greens as part of our Memorandum of Understanding with National. It has been a success, insulating 200,000 kiwi homes to date. It has created $1.3billion of benefits, mainly in better child health but these reports show there is more to do.
Now is the time to ensure the insulation scheme continues and has the opportunity to broaden its reach. We hope the Government extends funding for the scheme in the upcoming budget "Improving conditions inside kiwi homes for the kids that need it most is a priority. Extending the scheme is a common sense way to reduce rates of rheumatic fever and asthma, Mrs Turei said.