Waikato DHBFriday 27 July 2012, 9:10AM
Media release from Waikato
Within Aotearoa New Zealand an alarming 270,000 children live below
the poverty line, many more children live just above it.
Many whānau across the Waikato live in cold, poorly ventilated
homes and this combined with poverty has a huge impact on the
health of many families.
Waikato District Health Board Te Puna Oranga (Māori Health Unit)
general manager Ditre Tamatea said most at risk are vulnerable
babies and young children, who have no control over their
The issue of poverty and in particular child poverty is becoming an
issue for a wide range of families, community agencies and
government departments alike, as the gap between the "haves and
have- nots widens".
Six hundred homes in the Waikato DHB region will this year have
free ceiling and floor insulation installed making it more
affordable to heat the house and make the occupants warmer and
Te Puna Oranga will manage the privately-funded scheme in
partnership with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority
(EECA) and two insulation companies.
"The scheme represented a positive step towards improving housing
conditions for hundreds of people," said Mr Tamatea.
The issue of poverty and poorly insulated homes was a particular
issue for Māori and Pacific whānau. Data for the Waikato region
indicates that more than 50 per cent of the Māori and Pacific
population lives in the three most deprived deciles.
"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," said Mr Tamatea.
The scheme is an extension to the successful Warm Up New Zealand:
Heat Smart programme, which insulated the homes of more than 85,000
families, about half of which were on low incomes.
Three years ago Waikato DHB allocated $1 million to create warmer,
healthier homes for families in Hamilton, South Waikato and
Ruapehu. The Ministry of Health also allocated an extra $300,000 to
the scheme for Taumarunui, Tokoroa and Waitomo homes.
The Healthy Homes Initiative, a joint scheme with EECA retrofitted
more than 700 homes in the first year with insulation, a hot water
cylinder wrap, pipe lagging, draught excluders and energy saving
Two private enterprise organisations secured the funding from EECA
and approached Waikato DHB to partner with Te Puna Oranga in an
attempt to access whānau/ families in need who would need their own
or their rental property retrofitted at no cost.
Mr Tamatea said Te Puna Oranga would look to work with a wide range
of groups and agencies including Whānau Ora providers to support
the roll out of the insulation project "to ensure it gets to those
most in need".
Criteria for the insulation is:
The home must have been built before 2000 and be
within 30kms of Hamilton
The primary property resident or owner must have
a community services card
There must be children under 16 years old
living, or frequently staying, in the home
The house is not a Housing New Zealand
For more information and application form go www.waikatodhb.health.nz/tepunaoranga.