One year in to the two-year $18 million programme ‘Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes’ programme only 3700 homes have been insulated using the subsidy. The subsidy splits the cost of providing ceiling and underfloor insulation in rental properties occupied by low-income New Zealanders between landlords and the government – they roughly pay around $1500 each.

Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins has said “The landlords don’t realise, despite all the publicity, that the law is changing and from 2019 they have to put in the required standard anyway – it’s simply that taxpayer funds may not be available to help them do it.”

• Labour MP Clare Curran said New Zealanders were paying the price with their health for their landlords’ inaction.

“We know that there is legislation coming into force that requires a level of insulation, but the minister today admitted that people don’t really understand what the requirements are, and they think if there’s a bit of insulation in the walls then that suffices.”

The government’s Warm Up New Zealand programme has assisted nearly 300,000 private homes be insulated since 2009.

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