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A win on rental standards

Written By: - Date published: 12:56 pm, July 9th, 2015 - 104 comments
Categories: health, housing - Tags: , , , ,

In breaking news:

Government strengthens residential tenancy laws

Every rental property in New Zealand will have to be fully insulated within four years, Government has confirmed.

Housing Minister Nick Smith announced plans this morning to strengthen residential tenancy laws, including requirements for landlords to provide smoke alarms and insulation, and to declare the standard of insulation on tenancy agreements.

“The new law will require retrofitting of ceiling and underfloor insulation in rental homes over the next four years,” Dr Smith said in a statement.

Credit to the Greens, who have been pushing insulation as an issue for years. Credit to Labour who have pushed for a rental warrant of fitness – this new development addresses a huge part of the warrant policy. Credit to the Nats too for (finally) moving at least some way on this issue. This is a good example of a policy win from opposition. More please!

104 comments on “A win on rental standards”

  1. Sacha 1

    Greens also had rental WoF as policy long before Labour adopted it. Credit where due. Likewise, onya John Campbell for making a certain rugby match happen.

    • G C 1.1

      Yes, credit where credit is due – this is a great National policy. Policy to force insulation of rental properties was Long Overdue.

      Many older homes need insulation updated (it’s rotted/fallen away). Thousands upon thousands of homes have never been insulated at all!

      ‘A product has to be fit for purpose’ under the NZ Consumer Guarantees Act…

      …ALL Supermarkets couldn’t say “WE ARE ALL selling ONLY rotten fruit this month because we want to save money” – “We think you’ll buy the half rotten fruit because, that’s your only option.”

  2. Sacha 2

    Will be interesting to see where the business-friendly MBIE sets its thresholds for “risk to the health and safety of tenants” as the enforcer.


  3. Anno1701 3

    Some of the knee jerk responses to this on the herald piece are hilarious

    “We get what we deserve. In the end the tenant will pay for the additional expense.

    I’ve today given all my tenants notice of a $100pw rent increase to cover the additional costs.”

    this guy is a comedy legend

    or a one nasty bastard……………

    • McFlock 3.1

      $100pw to cover a one-off capital cost that’s subsidised and smoke alarms, before the person knows the specifics of the proposed law?

      Nasty bastard.

    • G C 3.2

      Unfortunately Anno1701, many people invest in property with no intention to maintain it. Rather they seek rents from properties where amenities are extremely substandard.

      As a consequence the rental price of functional and modernised housing has jumped considerably. If a landlord/agency CAN NOT have a rental property up to these BASIC standards, they should NOT be renting out that property

      Hopefully this policy will weed out more illegal and negligent practices by both private landlords and agencies.

      • Anno1701 3.2.1

        Makes me glad we have a nice landlord

        haven’t had a rental increase in over 5 years now , plus a gift every xmas !

  4. BM 4

    The only one getting the win is National.

    This is why National is popular, they can take ideas from the greens or labour and create policy that’s acceptable to a much broader range of people.

    • Stuart Munro 4.1

      National is ‘popular’ because the ruthlessly crush dissent – like Campbell – in spite of the resounding failure of their economic policies and the manifest inadequacy of their policies and MPs. Stalin was ‘popular’ too – but hated.

      • The lost sheep 4.1.1

        The great Socialist leader Stalin oversaw a totalitarian regime that killed Millions of it’s own citizens Stuart. He personally signed execution orders for over 40,000 opponents.

        You are an idiot if you think the National Party are even remotely comparable.
        Lucky that. Because if they were like Stalin, you’d be undergoing correction and execution right about now.

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      Pity about their incompetence when it comes to managing things that matter.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      No they don’t. They look at how popular Labour/Greens policy is and then water it down to make it ineffective and thus acceptable to their donors while telling everyone that it’s just as good as the Labour/Greens policy was.

      It’s called lying.

      • Puckish Rogue 4.3.1

        Or, alternatively, its called being centerist and winning

        • maui

          Ah the win at all costs, paper over everything, deception of doing what’s right/needed mentality.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Well it means you get to implement what you want, veto what you want and all you need to do is water down some left-wing policies and introduce them as your own every now and then

            • Pascals bookie

              Except they can’t really.

              Policy outcomes is what matters, and they haven’t had very many outright wins on things that can’t be reversed.

              When they adopt watered down left wing policy, that’s a stone cold win for the left. You win power to implement policy, so if your opponent is doing it for you, you don’t need to win power. Further, by implementing the watered down position they have accepted policy is right in principle and are left to only argue about how far it should go. the correctness of the policy has been conceded.

              • Colonial Viper

                You win power to implement policy, so if your opponent is doing it for you, you don’t need to win power.

                Pretty sure that is what National is banking on.

        • Lloyd

          They may call something centrist, but if the Gnats were cooking apples there wouldn’t be any pips in their cores.
          National are pretty far right. Comparing National’s policies to those of Stalin is a miss-match. Comparisons with the policies of Mussolini might be more appropriate…..hold on, didn’t Mussolini get the trains through Britomart on time?

      • BM 4.3.2

        If Labour/Greens policy is so popular, they’d be in government, what’s going wrong?

        • McFlock

          So national is popular because they take policy ideas from labour and the greens, but if labour and the greens policies were popular they’d be in government…

          Doublethink at its finest.

        • Sacha

          They suck at communicating?

          • BM

            Big part of it.

            Marketing really is important, you can have the greatest idea in the world but if no one knows about it or if you can”t convince people of its awesomeness,you’re going no where.

            Also part of selling something is to not over sell it, knowing when to shut up is vitally important, quite often people who are crappy at selling something actually start off well but end up talking their way out of a sale.

            Keep it short and to the point.

            This is where National is all over Labour at present.

      • maui 4.3.3

        +1 – like CGT, Beneficiary payment increases and now this policy.

      • Mike the Savage One 4.3.4

        They stole the very basic home insulation policy from the Greens, and then pretended it was their own, and to this day they go on about it, every time a question is asked in Parliament, and even otherwise to the media, “we are insulating homes”, YOU (Labour) did not, while you were in government.

        The lies, the deceit, the incredible manipulations by this government, are just flabbergasting, they leave me speechless, and the mainstream media does mostly not bother checking historic facts and asking the hard questions.

        The credit for any basic home insulation should go to the Greens, who the Nats even cooperated with during the first term, as far as I remember. But now it is all about National, Nick Smith and how “great” they are, delivering a “brighter future”, while in reality, they do stuff all, and get away with it.

        • Sacha

          They get away with what the political opposition allows them to.
          Let’s demand better service from those we fund and lend mandates to.

          • Draco T Bastard

            They get away with what the political opposition allows them to.

            Yep. The Greens and Labour need to start calling National what they are – liars.

    • lprent 4.4

      Or it could be because even Nick Smith can get pressured by his own words.

      Nick Smith on housing then and now

    • yabby 4.5

      ..and dare I say it but exactly the same thing happens when Labour is in power. While we all lament the lack of cross-party cooperation, it’s a vital part of getting things done and when it works it works for the people. Good gain for Kiwis living in insufficiently insulated houses.

    • Mike the Savage One 4.6

      And they are dragging their feet, the feet are almost nailed to the ground, so slow National is, in doing things, look at maternity leave, look at greenhouse emission targets, look at this now, they are doing as LITTLE as necessary, to not be accused of being the emperor without clothes. It is all fig leaf policy, but after so many years of hopeless Labour performance and organisation, and changes of leader after leader, so many are now so desperate, they even “celebrate” this embarrassing announcement by a National led government.

      The rest of the proposed tenancy law changes seem to be just as embarrassingly “smallish” as far as I have heard. National is very gentle and soft, when it comes to laying down the law with lazy, easy gains and profit seeking landlords, who will in their majority also be their voters, same as property speculators, so-called “investors” and so forth. Look at how long it took them to do anything about off-shore property buyers, even that is rather cosmetic.

      Labour, Greens, NZ First should put the boot into Nick Smith for this, not literally of course, but in political discourse, it is a disgrace that this is even “celebrated”.

      • miravox 4.6.1

        “And they are dragging their feet”

        It seems to me that on rental standards, as on other things like increasing benefits and emissions targets, the government has seen where they have become vulnerable in terms of public opinion (all credit to those who have worked hard to change people’s minds) and are inoculating themselves. Do the minimum possible to appease. That’s all.

        • Mike the Savage One


        • Colonial Viper

          This is not an arrogant, tone deaf government on its way out. They are being responsive to concerns and positioning to fight hard to win in 2017. My bet now is that Key wants a historic 4th term for himself.

          • miravox

            Agree that it’s not a tone deaf government. This is all about tone.

            Have to disagree on the arrogant bit though. I’d say they arrogantly bet that the people and the opposition are easy to play. It’s just a strategic game to them.

          • Mike the Savage One

            The “left” is about to hand it to them, if they do NOT offer resolute, firm, stiff and loud alternatives, and opposition to half-hearted policy announcements. There is yet another challenge, take it dear folks!
            Desperate efforts to get a 4th term is ARROGANCE, sheer arrogance, that is the message Little, Turei and Peters have to hammer now.

            • Colonial Viper

              I like your prescription but I don’t think there’s anyone around who can dispense it.

              • Mike the Savage One

                Wait, maybe someone will step up soon? There is an “opportunity”, so the saying goes, oh, gosh, that is “neoliberal”, they occupy that too, do they not?

                • Colonial Viper

                  I think there is going to be a race to grease up to the centrist upper quartile Kiwi voter. Losing Hone and Laila out of Parliament has certainly changed the balance in there for the worse.

                  • keyman

                    no the million wont vote so no point in trying to help them if you want change vote or riot but do something

  5. Brigid 5

    FFS!! Insulating the ceiling and floor space is NOT going to stop heat escaping through uninsulated walls and draughty, poorly draped windows. The net effect of this is greater profits for insulation producers. Walls in existing buildings can be insulated by injecting urea formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI), through small holes in the weatherboard into the framing spaces. It is, however, a little more trouble than jamming polyestyrene between joists or ceiling batterns.
    This is what you get from politicians who don’t have even a basic understanding of thermodynamics.

    • BM 5.1

      This is what you get from politicians that understand that you have to be realistic.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        Which excludes all National MPs. They haven’t been connected to reality for some time.

    • lprent 5.2

      For the houses that don’t have either, it will be a major step up. Can’t remember where I saw it, but I seem to remember that while most houses have ceiling insulation, relatively few older buildings had below floor insulation.

      After everyone gets compliant with this, ie after some of the recalcitrant landlords get run through the courts and fined very heavily, then we can look at the walls.

      In the meantime, because it is Nationals next favorite trick, we will need to start pushing for a harsh compliance regime to deal with the small minority of arsehole landlords.

      Personally I think that such people should be sentenced to live in their worst rathole without improvement for a few years. We could start with the current housing corp minister having to live in that housing corp house that caused that little kid to die of pneumonia. I’m sure Nick Smith will like that..

      • Sacha 5.2.1

        Apparently the policy is that about 75% of houses will not need to comply – because of their hard to access underfloors or impossible ‘raked’ ceilings. Nothing that might trouble those darling landlords.

        • Mike the Savage One

          To be honest, just over a third, the news reported, that is if they are “right”, we know what that may mean, but it is all a bit of a have, all this new “policy”.

        • Psycho Milt

          The ‘raked’ ceilings (ie, ceiling slopes up following the roofline, with ceiling tiles fixed to the rafters) really is a thing. It’s horrendously expensive to insulate because you have to replace the ceiling while you’re at it. While the Greens had that subsidised insulation thing going, we used to get occasional phone calls asking us if we wanted our ceilings insulated – only had to mention the slope of the ceiling for them to tell us we didn’t qualify. After 15 years I still have no idea whether there’s anything between those ceiling tiles and the roofing iron.

      • The lost sheep 5.2.2

        “that housing corp house that caused that little kid to die of pneumonia.”

        “could not be ruled out as a contributing factor” was the coroners statement I believe your Godship.

        • lprent

          That sounds close enough to systematic neglect.

          Lets get Nick Smith living there.

        • G C

          ‘The lost sheep’ – The coroner is tasked with determining the cause of death (pneumonia), not investigating the root cause – poor housing snuffed out his/her wee life, and that’s a tragedy and indictment on society.

          You’re splitting hairs here ‘The lost sheep’. It’s a little deplorable – Back Up yo’ll

          • The lost sheep

            Splitting hairs?
            ‘Caused’ is a specific action leading to a specific result, proven to a level that may be the basis for legal action.
            ‘Cannot be ruled out as a contributing factor’ is at strongest a suggestion that a specific action may or may not have been indirectly or partially responsible for a development or phenomenon.

            If a charge of one or the other was being laid at you? That would just be ‘splitting hairs’?

            The Coroner would have chosen his words very carefully, to convey the specific meaning intended. Partly of course because you are talking about the death of a young child and to imply any direct responsibility for that is a very serious step indeed that no one should treat lightly.
            Given that, I believe it would be ‘deplorable’ to deliberately twist and exaggerate the Coroners statement in order to make a mere point of party politics.

            • G C

              We all know that poor housing was to blame ‘The lost sheep’. Call it twisting or exaggerating the Coroner’s words, but we still all know.

    • Mike the Savage One 5.3

      Thank you!! At least you got it!

    • weka 5.4

      “This is what you get from politicians who don’t have even a basic understanding of thermodynamics.”

      Speaking of thermodynamics, heat rises. If you can do one thing, the best improvement will come from ceiling insulation. I agree other insulation is important too, and yep, curtains (with pelmets).

      Myself, I’d choose to live in an uninsulated house before one insulated with UFFI because of toxicity issues. Let’s not created a different set of problems.

      • ropata 5.4.1

        Err, actually heat radiates in every direction, but warmer air rises. Decent curtains would make a big difference in many cases.

      • Brigid 5.4.2

        Yes, urea-formaldehyde does emit formaldehyde during curing causing some respiratory upset. But the more modern use is of melamine foam, a formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer. (formaldehyde is not emitted as a vapour) It also has a low smoke and flame properties.

        The thing is, heated air moves, it’s like that, and takes the least restricted path. If your ceiling is insulated and the walls are not, it will go through walls, between the gaps in the inner linings and outer cladding. And it will move through any thermal bridge such as studs and windows.
        As for floor insulation, it adds a total of 10% additional heat retention IF both walls and ceiling are adequately insulated. For poorly fitted tongue and groove floors it does reduce air movement somewhat though.
        The thing is houses built in New Zealand before 1980 or so were poorly designed for thermal gain and heat retention.
        Half pie insulation is not going to make them much warmer.

        • weka

          Yet the people who insulate only their ceilings report an increase in comfort.

          • Brigid

            Not the ones I know. Actually I’ve not seen any research supporting your claim.

            • weka

              so are you saying that if only the ceiling can be done, it’s a waste of time?

  6. Chooky 6

    +100 good post…insulation , even if it isn’t perfect, will make a huge difference to the lives of the poorest families and children

    …presumably it will also apply to state houses…which jonkey nactional wants to flog off

    • Anno1701 7.1

      Should a little bit higher, but a great start IF it happens !

      • Ovid 7.1.1

        Doubtful. It turns out this was pre-budget advice. Clearly it wasn’t implemented in this year’s budget. Maybe next year.

        • Colonial Viper

          The fact that some bods in Treasury were willing to propose this step is a big positive. To be clear – it is an asset tax – which is fairly revolutionary for that neoliberal bunch in Wellington.

  7. Mike the Savage One 8

    Good grief, some on TS are “celebrating” a National government dragging its feet, it is embarrassing. This is long overdue, and it is even a ridiculous announcement, as telling landlords to prepare for insulating homes and giving them 4 damned years to do this, is so “slack” and useless, that is like telling a slum landlord to consider perhaps offering his/her exploited dweller to finally get access to clean water.

    Are we now that down, that desperate, so we “celebrate” a useless Nick (the Dick) Smith and his useless government, that would still not have ensured that Housing NZ homes would have the bare minimum of “insulation” by now, had the Greens not made this an issue many years ago, and even started on this, when Labour were still in power?

    I despair, I despair, how “humble” people have become, to give this crap government any credit for this.

    It should be done NOW, they should give landlords ONE year, no more time, to get this done. They were already offered great subsidies for doing so a few years back, but most private landlords could not care a damned little bit of shit.

    And this is the total minimum of what must be expected of homes in NZ. I am sitting here, in my room in my flat in Auckland (supposedly “subtropical”, that is part of the year, I suppose), and the thermometer shows 10 degrees Celsius, NO more, in a rented unit!

    My landlord did get a quote for insulation years ago, but never went ahead with it, although at that time I had a Community Services Card, which would have given the landlord a handsome subsidy to get the insulation done, but could not bother even with that.

    And yeah right, smoke alarms, to be the rule by next year, ahem, this is decades overdue, decades, same as home insulation.

    New Zealand is years behind in residential tenancy rights and laws needing to be reformed, and what National offer is a minimalistic approach. As for the insulation of state homes, all they have done is staple some foil under the floorboards, and put some cheap pads on top of the ceilings, and they have NOT put in double glazed windows, they have not fixed walls and so, hence most “insulation” is rather cosmetic, and only improves temperatures by 2 to 3 degrees maximum, which without heating (mostly by using expensive electricity) means very little to most.

    Apart from modern homes here, most homes in NZ are totally substandard, when it comes to heating, insulation and so forth, and not really fit to live in, go to places in Europe and find out, as this is all so ridiculous.

    • G C 8.1

      Totally Agree, ‘Mike the Savage One’ – a well written and engaging post.

    • weka 8.2

      Who exactly do you think is celebrating Nick Smith and this govt?

      I agree the timeframe is very poor. It makes me suspicious too.

      • Mike the Savage One 8.2.1

        “Credit to the Nats too for (finally) moving at least some way on this issue. This is a good example of a policy win from opposition. More please!”

        Just quoting from the above, maybe not quite “thrilled”, but supportive, which to me sounds a bit like “celebrating”. Forgive my language, I expected some staunch criticism from TS posters and commenters, but when hitting this post, I was a bit “surprised” about the lack of it.

        • weka

          I think that’s just r0b’s style (he’s a genial, polite person). Also, there’s no such thing as ‘ts’ in that sense, just individual authors.

          I take that sentence you quoted to mean at last the Nats have done something positive (credit but not praise or celebration), but the praise is for the opposition (it was their policy after all).

          • Mike the Savage One

            Credit to the opposition Greens, NONE for the policy stealing NATS, that is my view, and even what the Greens proposed and pushed through, by way of some cooperation with National, that home insulation program, is still a very humble way of improving home insulation, to be honest.

            NO credit to the Nats, that is my view, they are just always stealing policy, narrowing it down, and offering the minimalistic “improvements”, which in my view are almost embarrassingly ridiculous, as it could all be done better, with more resolute, smart and effective measures, that may just cost that little wee bit extra in the beginning, but save heaps down the track.

            • Heather Grimwood

              to Mike the Savage One etc : My house was insulated under last Labour Govt. …free …underfloor, ceiling, doorstops ( windows didn’t need draught stripping). I embarrass Nat. speakers by reminding them of this. It has always been conveniently dropped from media comment. The money was available through a number of avenues.

            • weka

              Fair enough Mike, I probably tend to that view too.

    • BrianBoru 8.3

      Recommend checking out the beacon pathway website.


      Frankly the design and subsequent building of most Kiwi houses is simply appalling with regards to any subsequent remedial attempts to improve insulation / energy efficiency etc i.e. pretty cost prohibitive, unlikely to achieve a satisfactory effect in a lot of cases.

      Considering NZ (as of 2011) had a Forest area (% of land area) > 30% and still hasn’t developed an adequate wood pellet production / delivery industry begs belief.

      Winter indoors in Montreal (-40 degrees centigrade with wind chill) was a helluva more comfortable than one winter I spent (indoors) in Wellington.

      • Mike the Savage One 8.3.1

        Thanks for sharing, we need more of such experience reports! Most in lovely little Down Under “paradise” have not experienced what standards are available and apply in other parts of the developed world, and hence put up with endless nonsensical apologies and rip off treatment by landlords here. It is unbelievable how they get away with what many of them do, truly unbelievable.

      • Sacha 8.3.2

        “still hasn’t developed an adequate wood pellet production / delivery industry ”

        Because we sell our forests and raw logs to foreigners who give no fucks about our local economy. Any decent government would have pushed strongly for local furniture manufacture, etc – and that applies to both of the two old parties.

        • BrianBoru

          A bit more info on the relative benefits of air source heat pump heating vs pellet heating etc.


          Seems to me to indicate that a more productive use of forestry resources is required –
          both in the generation of manufactured products i.e furniture, building materials etc and subsequent handling of waste (pellet manufacturing)

          time for a few NZ MP’s to go to Scandinavia and the Baltic states for a lesson in proper use of resources.

  8. You mean it isn’t against the law right now to skip providing smoke alarms in a rental property? Jesus wept.

    This does mean I’m going to have to fit a rental property with under-floor insulation, which annoys the hell out of me because, when I looked into it for my own house, they pointed out that carpet and underlay have an insulating effect so there wouldn’t be a great improvement from under-floor insulation. It wouldn’t have been cost-effective so I didn’t do it. I’ll do it in my rental property regardless of the cost/benefit though, because the government says I have to, and the tenants will pay for it.

    • McFlock 9.1

      Given that even in the brief announcement they outlined a couple of exceptions, I suspect you might be safe: I wouldn’t be surprised if the final rules have a myriad of doges and exceptions.

      • Psycho Milt 9.1.1

        Yes, sorry, wasn’t thinking straight. The party of property investors will of course look on this as a propaganda exercise, with nice soundbites about smoke alarms and insulation up front, and behind it an array of loopholes to ensure their constituency doesn’t suffer any actual inconvenience. Much as it pains me to admit it, I’m squarely in their target market.

      • McFlock 9.1.2

        lol: “dodges”, not Venetian potentates…

    • G C 9.2

      I hear what you’re saying ‘Psycho Milt’. The standard of insulation may be fine in your rental properties. Certainly underlay and carpets make a huge difference. Unfortunately successive governments setting on their hands means a ‘blanket’ styled law is necessary.

      Your tenants probably wont be paying the cost – they’ll be saving on power and doctors visits. 4 years is a very, very generous insulation time frame. Also you’ll increase the value of your properties by keeping them at a rentable standard.

      You’re probably unaware of just how cold they can get.

    • maui 9.3

      I’m not sure if the advice you were given was correct. From what I can workout for a standard timber floor house if you put in 50mm polystyrene underfloor insulation you are increasing the floor’s resistance to heat loss by about 3 times. I.e. Carpet has an R (insulation) value of 0.4 + the plywood base flooring (R value of 0.17) = 0.57 total. Underfloor polystyrene has an R-value of about 1.4, giving you a total R value of 2.0 after installation, more than three times what you originally had.

      What they might have been getting at is that only 10% of the heat in the house escapes through the floor, so putting effort into that area is like investing in double-glazing all your windows. Except it’s a lot easier and much cheaper to do the underfloor if there is access for someone to get under the floor. It all counts in my book and would be a sound investment.

      • Psycho Milt 9.3.1

        What they might have been getting at is that only 10% of the heat in the house escapes through the floor…

        I expect that was it. The rooms have single-glazed floor-to-ceiling windows, so putting your money and effort into insulating the floor wouldn’t make a lot of sense.

        • BM

          Rising damp is the big issue.

          Some places they recommend laying a thick polythene film over the ground as well as under floor insulation.

  9. Peter Scott 10

    Good on you for recognising the oppositions good work in promoting insulation for rented housing. It’s true and it’s good work from the Labour/Greens but it will be recognised as a National Party achievement and adds to the long list of National Party achievements Fisi published the other day. 2020 probably is a realistic target for the next Labour Government to be ready to govern and implement their own ideas. Clean out the old guard. Be ready.

    • Mike the Savage One 10.1

      “Clean out the old guard.” Yep, so overdue, for the most of them, at least. But probably is easier said than done, “expert” political knowledge and work in Parliament is hard to replace with newbies, who need time to learn the ropes of how the system works. That is a stumbling block, I fear.

  10. Paul 11

    Having heard Checkpoint sounds like these new laws have no teeth.

    • Mike the Savage One 11.1

      You are NOT wrong there, NOT wrong at all, and whatever this government does in this kinds of areas usually has NO teeth at all, it is cosmetics, to keep their otherwise middle class voters calm and “convinced”, we are the “good guys”, the “left” are the “bad guys”, nothing more or less is what this is all about, a joke really, if the freezing tenants in said homes may feel inclined to “laugh” about such “jokes”.

      Shove Key and his gang, give them a good hammering, they are liars, and manipulators, and are NOT at all interested in the well-being of tenants, they are rather considerate to their landlords and property owning clientele, read the submissions on PAUP topic discussions before hearings online too, you will find and see what it is all about, the Nats support the “developers” and “owners” and “business” sector, and they are heavily financed, the rest get NO voice at all, that is “demockeracy” under this government:


  11. Treetop 12

    It is about time that it is recognised that some people who rent live in fridge like conditions during the cooler months. I am house sitting for a few days in an insulated four bedroom home, when I walked in it was as warm as my lounge with the heater having been on for a couple of hours; no heating had been on for several hours.

    I looked forward to escaping the fridge (flat) because it is so cold this week.

  12. North 13

    There is no genuine interest in the common weal/accountability/responsibility in this government. Those concepts it projects and vaunts to conceal its own deficits and defaults. There is no thoroughgoing belief in them. The modus operandi is to unscrupulously lament perceived non-compliance in the powerless and the weak. Daily on this site we see its proxies BM, Fisiani and others up to that shit.

    Yes this government, having tested the political winds and feeling pushed may adopt certain measures such as the one the subject of this post, measures which paradoxically it has previously abused so extravangantly. There is however no good faith. The measure is adopted, too little too late, as insurance against harsh exposure to the political winds.

    These are not honourable people. They are people who stand in the dock professing remorse solely for the benefits which accrue from that expression. Without a shred of it in their hearts. If ultimately it is pitchforks their dishonour and their power lust and their greed will explain the pitchforks.

  13. ropata 14

    Here I lie in my freezing rented room and all the warmth is being sucked out the window. The curtains are useless and my landlord expects me to replace them. No thanks, I will just crank up the heater and waste more (free) electricity

  14. The Chairman 15

    National have got the balance about right (smoke alarms, retrofitting of ceiling and underfloor insulation).

    Labour wanted to take this way too far (comprehensive housing warrants, annual inspections coupled with all the costs and bureaucracy that contains).

    By striking the right balance, National has averted large costs being passed on to tenants.

    A number of voters will now consider the concern (uninsulated rentals) addressed.

    Consequently, continuing to push for housing warrants will allow National to paint Labour as being far to extreme, adding housing warrants and annual inspections to the likes of light bulbs and shower heads, which resulted in a massive voter backlash.

    Therefore, Labour would be wise to now back off the comprehensive warrant notion.

    • Sacha 15.1

      Unhealthy houses ‘pass on costs’ to tenants, thanks. Long way to go from insulation and smoke alarms to decent housing standards, regulated and enforced. Labour might do well to talk with the Greens about what they can jointly propose.

      • The Chairman 15.1.1

        Heating and ventilation is all that is now required to prevent unhealthy homes.

        Property managers and tenants themselves are fully capable of policing standards, having the state coming into your home is a step too far and will rightly be painted as such.

        Moreover, as requirements are not to onerous, the majority of landlords will comply.

        It would be politically prudent for Labour to now back off this one.

        • Sacha

          “Heating and ventilation is all that is now required to prevent unhealthy homes.”

          And if the ‘market’ was going to provide those, don’t you think it would have done so by now? Relying on the goodwill of those who make more money from market failure is insane.

          If Labour wants more right-wing votes, then yes they should wash their hands of this issue as you recommend.

          • The Chairman

            A number of left wing voters are concerned about the impact of higher rents, thus Labour would do right to not overlook this.

            Most homes already have heating (fire places night store, etc) provided.

            • Sacha

              Two words: fuel poverty. A firplace or heater is no use if you can’t afford to feed it.

              • The Chairman

                Indeed. Thus, Labour would be wise to back off. The comprehensive improvements and on going regulatory regime Labour desire will ultimately lead to higher costs being passed on.

                Robbing tenants of disposable income to pay for things like heating.

                Labour may have good intentions, but in reality they are overlooking the negative fiscal impact their good intentions will have on tenants.

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