NZNO congratulates the new government on passing the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act in advance of Human Rights Day on 10 December.
Chief Executive Memo Musa says poor quality housing, primarily because of dampness and inadequate, or poor insulation is making people sick. He says these homes are also not a good environment to aid recovery from illness.
“It is well documented that poor housing takes its toll on the health of children in particular. Preventable diseases such as skin infections, rickets and respiratory diseases should not be a feature for any child growing up in Aotearoa,” Memo Musa said.
“Access to decent housing and healthcare are basic human rights so it is responsible of the government to legislate to help New Zealand meet international obligations.
“The high cost of heating a home that is almost impossible to keep warm can also leave families that are renting in poverty, and this in turn leads to children becoming malnourished and ultimately presenting to nurses for care.
“The whole notion of a rental warrant of fitness is a good way forward. This will help to keep people out of hospital and in their communities living healthy lives.
“The 2017 winter saw an increase in the numbers of people coming into emergency departments than in previous years.
"Nurses hope that landlords will get cracking and get their houses sufficiently insulated and ventilated before next winter and not wait until it is illegal not to in 2019,” Memo Musa said.