Helping reduce harm from unhealthy homes

A healthy home is important for everyone’s health but especially for infants, older people and anyone who is ill at home or recovering from illness. Experts agree that a healthy home is:

  • safe, warm and dry and in good repair; and
  • a place where the residents aren’t at risk of housing-related illnesses by living there.

Evidence shows many houses have flaws that can lead to increased health risk, such as cold, damp homes, damaged or rundown houses, environmental neglect, overcrowded, poorly ventilated homes and homes which are not designed for the occupants’ ability.

Community and Public Health supports and promotes healthy homes and communities by:

  • Sharing advice and information with services working with Māori whānau and Pasifika aiga;
  • Providing resources that encourage healthy homes;
  • Giving advice on how to live so homes remain healthy;
  • Providing advice to community about summer heat health;
  • Assisting the health sector to consider housing as a way to reduce Ambulatory Sensitive (avoidable) Hospital (ASH) admission rates;
  • Supporting the housing sector through policy submissions and strategic planning;
  • Supporting community Initiatives to improve neighbourhoods and housing;
  • Collaborating with key agencies, networks and organisations to achieve positive changes in housing; and
  • Encouraging Canterbury DHB staff to consider housing as a health influencer to assist patients to get practical support and to reduce Ambulatory Sensitive (avoidable) Hospital (ASH) admission rates.

Information sheets on some housing issues for renters and homeowners

Documents and Links

Home heating and seasonal concerns

Dealing with mould and damp homes

Housing standards and building energy efficient homes

Key national and regional documents

For further information, contact:

Leanne Bayler
Ph: +64 3 364 1777

Key housing agency contacts:

Emergency Housing

Ministry of Social Development
Ph: 0800 559 009
Work and Income

Supporting Tenants

Tenants Protection Association
Ph: +64 3 379 2297

Tenancy Services
Ph: 0800 836 262

Insanitary Housing

Christchurch City Council
Ph: +64 3 941 8666

Energy solutions for healthy living

Community Energy Action
Ph: +64 3 374 7222 or 0800 388 588

Power bill changes bring fairness to charges

A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place.

“Phasing out the regulations on ‘low-use’ electricity plans will create a fairer playing field for all New Zealanders and encourage a switch to electric technologies,” the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods said.

The regulations will be phased-out over five years starting from 1st April 2022, with support for households who might be affected by the changes.

This change will mean new, fairer pricing plans can be implemented for distributing electricity. About 60 per cent of households are likely to benefit from lower power bills during the phase-out.

“Ultimately this will help the electricity industry to more efficiently manage the load on the network during peak times – avoiding costly network upgrades and helping to keep prices lower for consumers,” Megan Woods said.

Home Performance Assessments: Could your home be warmer, drier, healthier or cheaper to heat?

A Home Performance Assessment is a great way to check out how energy efficient your home is. A room-by-room assessment will identify where heat is being lost, sources of dampness, the status of heating and insulation, how your power bill might be reduced, and how the sun’s energy might be better used.

Environment Canterbury (ECan) recommends getting an assessment before deciding to make any changes to your home or accessing financial assistance for home heating improvements. Often a significant investment can be avoided with a few tweaks in the right place.

You will receive a list of recommendations to improve the performance of your home as part of your Assessment.

Home Performance Assessments are available for free for Christchurch City Council ratepayers or are subsided for some others living in Canterbury or South Canterbury.

Warmer Kiwi Homes Tool

Find out if you are eligible for a grant for heating or home insulation and connect with a service provider for a no-obligation quote.

Page last updated: 11/08/2022

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