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Christchurch needs blankets

Written By: - Date published: 11:51 am, July 8th, 2015 - 95 comments
Categories: health, housing, quality of life - Tags: , ,

On Stuff today:

Blankets in demand as families turn off heaters

Christchurch families are turning off heaters and bundling up in blankets to save money, leading to a waiting list for the basic item among social agencies.

For the first time since starting a blanket bank three years ago, New Brighton Project, a social agency, has a waiting list of desperate families needing warm blankets and bedding as people turn off heaters to save money and turn to blankets instead.

Young families with children reliant on electric heating are hurting the most, said coordinator Martha Baxendell. The agencies had been inundated with referrals from social agencies around the city. … “People are still living out there in broken homes. They are coming to us for blankets saying ‘I really can’t afford to turn on the heating’,” she said. … “With the housing crisis, there is significant overcrowding – all the kids in a double bed. It’s like the 1950s,” she said.

95 comments on “Christchurch needs blankets”

  1. Sabine 1

    At what stage can we just be embarrassed? And I mean it. This is the year 2015, and we seem to be going back to the dark ages with seven mile boots.

    Please tell me again dear National Voter what you voted for? Appeal for Blanket donations?

    • weka 1.1

      I agree, it’s pretty grim, and I think we are well past embarassment as the appropriate emotion. We should be feeling shame or rage or both.

      • Rosie 1.1.1

        I alternate between shame and rage on an almost daily basis. Seriously I do. I am having real difficulty living here, in my homeland.

  2. johnm 2

    Money profit market man Key: ” These people obviously have made the wrong choices in their life!”

    God market requires more human sacrifice from our neoliberal priesthood led by chief priest Key. ( Neoliberalism is killing orf far more people than the Mayan blood soaked priests ever managed!) Greece getting currently screwed.

    Sell orf your public assets we can profit from them!

  3. Bill 3

    Okay. I get it that poverty is rife enough and electricity expensive enough that people can’t turn on the heating. (Love how stuff suggest ‘choice’ by couching that in terms of turning off the heating.)

    Neither am I surprised, that after over 100 years of glorious capitalism lifting all boats, people are consigned to living in houses about as habitable as garden sheds while landlords cream accommodation supplement from the public purse .

    But to run out of blankets? In New Zealand!?

    • Sabine 3.1

      I did not even know we had a blanket bank. Food Banks, yes, City Missions, yes, but a Blanket bank?

      I am so over anyone who is still rambling on about choice, and I am eternally grateful that I have a fire place and that I had enough money to buy firewood.

      Good grief, what next, at what stage will the New Zealand Citizens demand that the government does better by them. Do they really not see that all this misery is gonna come home one day and knock on the door?

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Dunedin has a great curtain bank to help people keep their houses warm in winter.

        • Anno1701

          there are curtain banks here in Auckland too

          any cold westies should head over to Vision west in Glen Eden

      • Rosie 3.1.2

        Here In Wellington the Sustainability Trust runs a curtain bank. It is hugely successful, with people donating good quality thermal drapes and households in need being supplied with those drapes.

        The government has failed in it’s duty to support it’s most vulnerable. The government outsources it’s responsibility to those who are able to share, hence we have curtain banks, food banks, blanket banks and in the case of groups like Kiwi Community Assistance, clothes as well as the food they supply.

        It’s a dangerous game our government plays, relying on the goodwill of others to support fellow NZer’s who are struggling on a daily basis. As we keep going backwards those donated goods will become less and less plentiful resulting in more and more suffering.

  4. BM 4

    Wasn’t that a great idea to rip out all the wood burners and replace with heat pumps.
    Good work C.C.C !!!

    Thank Christ, we got a wood burner and not a heat pump, cost of heating the house so far this year $0 dollars.

    • tc 4.1

      So the wood just magically arrives at no cost, hey i’ve got a bridge you can buy.

      • BM 4.1.1

        Chopped down a toon tree last year, this year I’m going to drop a birch that’s starting to die off.

        Pallets make great fire wood and they’re free.

        Which is the massive advantage of a wood burner over a heat pump, heat pump you’re at the whim of the electricity market, wood burner you can get your fuel from multiple sources.

        • Bill

          Pallets burn in ‘2 secs’ and need to be picked up by car or whatever (petrol costs). One tree (‘chopped’ you say…BM in lumberjack gear swinging axe 😉 ) wouldn’t last a winter. That birch will be as as green as a toad’s wazoo and not useable this year.

          Anyway. Apart from the transparency of your BS, you’re right that a woodburner is far preferable to a heat pump. Not cheap though if you’re having to buy half decent wood at +$85 per cubic meter (probably much more than that in the cities).

          • Anno1701

            They call them Air-Conditioners in Hot countries

            Ours Draws 4 kw PER HOUR !

          • David H

            No they don’t last 2 secs. For the last 2 months I have been using nothing but Pallet wood for my Logburner and the final fill up at night, when I turn it down at bedtime, it’s still going the next morning. And it costs is a couple a bucks in Fuel to get them home in the Van, I usually get between 3 and 6 van fulls at a time. A few cents in power for the Skilsaw and some time to chop them up. Way cheaper than buying wood.

            • Lanthanide

              Pallets are good ‘free’ fuel, but they truly aren’t as long-burning as hardwood – I’d guess about 60-70% burn time per volume compared to hardwood.

              But yes, if you have the time, required equipment, good health and access to transportation, pallets are definitely the way to go.

              There’s an abundance of free wood available in CHCH now thanks a huge number of wood burners being taken out. My dad used to compete pretty fiercely for the free wood he scavenged, but now he’s very selective and only takes the best-burning and easiest to transport and cut up pieces.

          • Lanthanide

            In a poorly insulated and drafty house, as makes up the vast bulk of NZ’s housing stock, a heatpump simply can’t put out the required heating load at any sort of reasonable operating cost.

            It’s a pity National didn’t insist on newly built CHCH houses being built to homestar-5 rating (or some other equivalent heating/insulation standard – higher than the pitiful current building code); yet another way this government could have invested in a reduced carbon future.

    • Ch_ch chiquita 4.2

      And you manage to heat the whole house with that wood burner? How do you feed the fire during the night?
      Who was it that said that privatizing the electric companies will get us cheaper electricity?

      And to be honest, no heat source will do much when the house is not insulated or when is still broken down from the earthquake.

      • weka 4.2.1

        Heating a house overnight? Crikey, do low income people actually do that? (I haven’t live in a house heated at night since I was a child when we had central heating). Most of my adult life I’ve not heated the whole house during the day, just the room I am using. I’m guessing that people poor enough to need assistance with blankets would be in that category too.

        I tend to agree with BM (fuckin hell). I’m fortunate enough to afford firewood, but most people I know on low incomes get firewood from cheap/free sources, or they supplement firewood that way. You can’t do that with a heat pump. On the other hand, getting free/cheap firewood in a city isn’t as easy as other places, but I’m also thinking about the huge amounts of timber in Chch that have gone into landfill in the recent years. We are soooo bad at managing resources.

        • Ch_ch chiquita

          I doubt low income people heat the house during the night but the fact they don’t do it doesn’t mean they don’t need to do it. If anyone in the household is suffering from Asthma for example, breathing cold air during the night will get them worse. And if the house isn’t insulated then it gets very very cold at night.
          I know you can’t get free electricity (why not, actually? it looks like the power companies are making good profits; and to start with I think they shouldn’t be in private hands anyway!)

        • Lanthanide

          “but I’m also thinking about the huge amounts of timber in Chch that have gone into landfill in the recent years.”

          Treated timber (ie, the type generally used in construction and framing) is not supposed to be burnt, due to releasing all the toxic chemicals that were used to treat it.

          Trying to sort through timber from demolition sites to get the burnable bits out is simply not an economic use of time. Of course if you don’t care about the cost and just want to liberate the usable resources, then time isn’t a consideration.

          • BM

            Framing timber would be h1 or just kiln dried.
            Older places would be native.

            Waste of good fire wood.

            • weka

              Waste of good recyclable building timber too. That was the stories I heard in the year after the big quake, that there was such haste to clear things that major amounts of usable timber, including native hardwoods, just got dumped in the land fill. The good stuff should have gone to be reused, the crappy stuff for firewood or other projects (and yes, I’m talking non-treated timbers for burning).

              Lanth, yes time and economics, but then it’s not economical to make sure everyone in NZ has adequate heating or food either. There are other models that could have been used to make use of the post-quake resources.

      • infused 4.2.2

        You don’t need to feed the fire at night.

        And my fireplace when my house was not insulated did wonders. It was a fucking icebox though when the fire wasn’t going.

        • Ch_ch chiquita

          So if your heat source is only a fireplace and the house is not insulated you still need to heat, at least the room you are in, during the night.

          • Bill

            Never, ever heated the room I sleep in through the night. If I’m away and the room I’m in is heated, then no matter the time of year, I have to up and open the window. Fresh air. Good stuff. Doesn’t matter how cold the air is as long as the bedding is warm.

            • Ch_ch chiquita

              That’s great for you. But not all of us are the same and some do need the room being heated during the night, even if we opened the window during the day and have warm bedding ,which some will not have since the blanket bank have run out of blankets.

              • Bill

                It’s not ‘great for me’ – it’s just how I’m comfortable.

                I mention it only in response to some idea you have that people need to heat their bedrooms through the night.

                • weka

                  I think the point is that some people do, some don’t, some do better with heat, some do better without (I’m the latter).

                  There are some pretty clear medical reasons why someone might need a warm room at night, yet another aspect of where NZ is majorly failing.

                  • Lanthanide

                    I’d suggest the vast majority of NZers do not heat their bedrooms at night. Because they can’t afford to. I never have.

                    Everyone should, however. The WHO standard is no less than 17c in sleeping rooms overnight, to maintain health and ward off illness.

          • infused

            Well the fireplace is the only form of heating that will heat my entire house… the heat pump can’t match it.

            • BM

              Wall mounted you need basically one per room.

              What a lot of people would do is have one large one in the living area and a small ducted unit for the bedrooms

              $5-6k for the living area

              6-7k for the ducted system

              Expensive stuff.

              • infused

                That’s what I do. We have a big one in the lounge which is ok, but run a small fin heater down the hallway which heats all the rooms.

                cbf running a ducted system.

      • BM 4.2.3

        Absolutely, you just have to get a wood burner that’s rated correctly.

        The smallest wood burner you can buy is rated to heat a 100 sq meter house.

        We do have insulation top and bottom but nothing in the walls.

        At night we heat the lounge to around 20 degrees and 18 in the bedrooms, we don’t burn anything over night and the temperature is still around 12-14 degrees when we get up in the morning.

        If it’s really cold you can put a load of wood on before you go to bed and damper the wood burner down, that just keeps the fire ticking over during the night.

      • David H 4.2.4

        Yep I don’t have any electric heaters. I start with heating the lounge, open the door when it gets hot, that heats the rest of the house. We have an older model log burner one that you can turn right down to a smoulder. So we load it up and turn it down. Also the house is insulated. it’s not hot in the mornings, only warm, but it is way better than the freezing temps we have been having and snow on the hills. I can run around the house in a tea shirt and trousers at night here No heavy jumpers or Blankets needed.

        I really feel for those waiting to get their houses fixed in CHCH. Shows how much our Govt looks after the people who have been left wanting by insurers, builders, or who ever should have been there by now.

    • infused 4.3

      Yeah, retarded idea. And that of stopping fire places that you can ‘shut off’. We have a heat pump, just got it last year, but you cannot beat a fireplace.

      • David H 4.3.1

        Just watching the flames is strangely relaxing as well, makes you feel warm just watching them. A heat pump is just another power user on the wall, and if you don’t set them up, and use them right, they can cost you a fortune.

    • Rosie 4.4

      Re the thread about woodburners:

      Agree they are the most efficient form of heating. We do have a heatpump, it came with the house, but we never use it, too expensive to run and it just blows hot air around the place. Our power bill for two is a consistent $140 every month, all year, due to using the woodburner we installed when we moved in.

      The difficult thing is stumping up (no pun intended) the cost of getting your load of firewood in for the winter. On our single income, with over 60% of it going on a mortgage it’s always a real problem finding the $$$ to do this. Still cheaper in the long run of paying for electric heating though, and warmer.

      I hear WINZ can subsidise the cost of firewood for those who are WINZ “clients” – our firewood supplier does WINZ quotes – but I don’t know how often they do this and how reliable they are.

      Agree with Bill re pallets. They burn in 2 seconds flat. They also create heaps of ash as well as soot in the chimney. Not clean burning and it’s hard to locate untreated pallets.

      • Bill 4.4.1

        I’d guess WINZ give a loan claimed back from future payments rather than a subsidy. Which is good, given that wood involves a hit of hundreds of $. Maybe the fact that such a loan would be interest free means it could be regarded as a subsidy of sorts? 😉

        • weka

          I think they will include firewood in disability allowance calculations too, where more heating is needed for health reasons. Pretty bad indictment of NZ though, because it says poor people without the right illness are not entitled to live in a warm home. Adequate shelter (including warmth) is one of the key factors that will improve well being and health for humans anywhere.

        • Rosie

          If it were a loan, instead of lets say, a payment, maybe a better word than subsidy, then that’s just plain mean. Providing a “loan” for essentials like heating is Scrooge like.

      • BM 4.4.2

        Couple of tips to running a heat pump.

        1) If it’s in a lounge and if sized correctly will ONLY heat the lounge, trying to heat the whole hose will cause astronomical power bills as the heat pump will be going all the time.

        2) On heating mode the air that comes out of a correctly operating heat pump is around 45 deg, doesn’t matter if you have the temperature set to 18, 20, 22, 28 deg.

        All is doing is setting the temperature at what the heat pump turn off at, you’re not adjusting the amount of heat that comes out of the heat pump.

        This is where so many people are going wrong and it’s why so many peoples power bills are so high.

        • Rosie

          Good tips. And yes, am aware that a heat pump placed in a lounge will only heat that room.

          Our metro wee rad on the other hand heats the whole 3 bedroom house. It’s only the second size up from the smallest metro fire you can buy but is extremely efficient.

        • Anne

          Further tip if you want to install a heat pump. Whatever size usually recommended for the size of the room/house… buy one size larger. The initial outlay is more expensive but the long term benefits, both financially and efficiency-wise, is greater. If correctly used, it also means the heat pump will last much longer because it doesn’t have to work so hard to keep the house /room at the required temperature.

          • Lanthanide


            The installation costs make up a good part of the total bill, and a larger model will scarcely cost more to install than a smaller one.

      • Lanthanide 4.4.3

        Slight pedantic niggle: heat pumps are the most efficient form of heating, in terms of the cost of the heat that you get out of them (assuming you’re paying standard rates for comparable fuels such as gas and firewood).

        But for the average house in NZ, due to the sheer amount of heat required given how drafty and uninsulated they are, they are not the most *effective* form of heating.

        • Anne

          Not pedantic at all Lanthanide. Heat pumps can only be as efficient as the over-all state of the home and what insulation systems are in place. I have pink batts in the ceiling and exterior walls but they are now 25 plus years old and need replacing. Its in my interest to do so but well, ya know… I keep spending my limited income on other things. 🙁

          • Lanthanide

            No, efficiency of a heating appliance in an of itself only relates to the cost of fuel for the amount of heat that is output. Heatpumps are generally the most efficient heating appliances, assuming you’re paying normal market rates for all comparable fuels.

            The effectiveness of the heating appliance is how it works in relation to the whole house it is in.

    • greywarshark 4.5

      You know that Christchurch has a smoke inversion problem don’t you. And it was an effort to clean up the air in winter which when smogged up caused breathing problems. Also it was an early move by Labour to reduce carbon dioxide output from the country. A good move but they were doctrinaire about it settling low targets from Chch and Nelson also.

      • weka 4.5.1

        True, although those measures were started when people were still burning coal. I’ve heard that the Otago Regional Council is rethinking its clean air policy because they’ve realised that being warm in winter is critical in many parts of the province.

        Ultra efficient wood burning tech exists, which begs the question of why it’s not mandatory in a place like Chch (or many other places).

        Firewood is the only carbon neutral active energy source we have (technically, assuming we plant more than we burn, which is another whole kete of ika).

        • Lanthanide

          “Ultra efficient wood burning tech exists, which begs the question of why it’s not mandatory in a place like Chch (or many other places).”

          It is mandatory, for all new installations. However they are apparently pretty expensive to install (I’ve seen a figure of $13,000, no idea how true that is though).

          Those who had existing wood burners were ‘forced’ to upgrade to high efficiency units. I believe a lot of the angst from Chrischurchians (read the comment section of the blankets story on stuff) comes from those who could not afford, or whose landlords, did not upgrade to the newer style of woodburner. So they’re afraid to run their old woodburners, as the smoke will give them away and they’d face a fine.

          I briefly considered this ultra efficient woodburner for the house I’m planning to build next year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiguYJWcIlo Very sleek looking but ultimately overkill for the passive house I’m planning to build, which should require no more than 2 KW of heating for the entire house.

          • weka

            Nice one Lanth on the passive house build. Interesting link too. Even with passive tech I’d still need some form of heating that was radiant, and I’d choose fire over electricity for resiliency reasons (unless I had my own generation capacity but even then it’s not as resilient as a wood fire). There’s an interesting bit of research to be done on how many power outages we have now. Seems fairly routine everytime there is a big storm, and we haven’t gotten to the hard CC weather patterns yet (including what’s going to happen with the hydro lakes).

            By ultra efficient I meant tech like rocket mass heaters, or the one you link to. I don’t think Chch standards are there yet are they? (basically very little to no flue emissions).

            • Lanthanide

              There are only 2 wood burners certified to use in Christchurch, and that bionic fire is one of them. I haven’t looked at the other at all.

              Re: resiliency, yes, I did consider this and discussed with the BF. We have had very few power cuts in Christchurch over the years I’ve lived here. It does happen, but tends to be from trees blown over into power lines that take out power from a suburb or two and is usually fixed up within a day or two at the most, and generally we don’t get many windy storms like that down here. Most of the city didn’t even lose power in both of the earthquakes, and the where the power was out, it basically shut itself off as a precautionary measure (the safeties were ‘tripped’) and power was back within 24 hours after they had inspected it and confirmed safe.

              In an energy constrained future, given the existing hydropower plants and the necessity of electricity, we expect society will put effort into maintaining critical infrastructure.

              If it does become unreliable, solar PV can be fitted to the roof to generate electricity. With improving battery technology this may end up being a standard feature of housing in 15-20 years anyway.

              In an energy constrained future, getting access to firewood to keep a fire running within a city is not likely to be so easy anyway.

      • Bill 4.5.2

        Hmm, CO2 reduction.

        What produces more CO2? Burning wood or using electricity from a power station with 90%+ inefficiency in distribution?

        Depends on the mode of electricity production for sure, but it’s possible to produce less CO2 burning domestic coal for heating than would be the case if a heat pump was run instead.

        • Lanthanide

          Are you saying that power plants are 90%+ inefficient, or 90%+ efficient, not including distribution inefficiencies?

          • Bill

            A typical coal fired power station in the US runs at around 30% efficiency. (Figures from the US National Energy Technology Laboratory.)

            Throw in power loss from grid transmission lines, and add energy required to mine/extract and transport the fuel….

            A 90% loss doesn’t seem an unreasonable figure. ie, each 1 kWh consumed requires the generation of 10kWh

            • Lanthanide

              Distribution losses are actually very small. Since you’re talking about the US, their annual average distribution loss, across all states, was 5% in 2012.

              So 30% * 95% = 28.5% efficiency from the average coal plant in the US, not 10%.

              Source: http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=105&t=3 follow the link, find the US total, download the excel spreadsheet and do the % calculation.

    • Wasn’t that a great idea to rip out all the wood burners and replace with heat pumps.
      Good work C.C.C !!!

      The lunacy of that is beyond me. Heat pumps are completely useless below 0 degrees and bloody near useless below 5 degrees. That is, they’re fuck-all use for pretty much every single winter morning and evening in Christchurch. If I still lived there I’d want some other kind of heating, assuming the council hasn’t banned those too. No wonder there’s a severe blanket shortage.

      • BM 4.6.1

        Yeah nothing like your heat pump going into defrost mode when you’re freezing your tits off.

        Having said that Mitsubishi has put out a model with an electric heater built into the outside unit to stop the coils from freezing.

        Does rather increase your power bill though.

        Heat pumps are for Auckland, not the deep south.

      • Grant 4.6.2

        Absolute tosh.


        Always assuming you have the wherewithal to do a little research before buying.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    This is the definition of energy poverty. Right here in NZ, producer of the cheapest hydroelectricity in the world.

    • weka 5.1

      +1. Shame on NZ, and shame on both Labour and National. This is a long standing, entrenched problem of which blanket shortages is the lastest manifestation.

      • maui 5.1.1

        That made me laugh in a very bemused sort of way. How are we in this completely farcical position where we’re talking about there not being enough blankets to go round in NZ. With a rich country with abundant resources this is what things have come to. Is the next issue going to be kiwis replacing milk with water on cereal.

    • Lanthanide 5.2

      Pretty sure NZ doesn’t have the cheapest hydroelectricity in the world. That would likely be China with the three gorges dam, or some of those other massive installations around the world. They gain efficiency through their sheer size.

      Also Iceland has 100% renewable electricity generation. We’re only about 70%.

      • keyman 5.2.1

        i remember David parkers lecture on the power companies every half hour on the spot market they submit prices they accept the highest price not the lowest hydro is priced as none renewable as if it was oil and gas thats where there super sized profits are coming from to add insult to injury there using public resource water for nothing but we can be sure key will privative water from the sky as well ,we need blanket banks now where bid our society go i could almost cry i just hate what his country has become and where it will finally end up.

  6. Paul 6

    And no John Campbell anymore to name and shame those culpable.

  7. Shona 7

    I have spare blankets. Family have left home . I have duvets as well. Where do I send them to?

  8. maui 8

    Isn’t this a lovely caring system. Let’s corrupt all the basic requirements that it takes for someone to live. This week – lose your rights to electricity. Next week – water disconnections for not paying your water bill. Week after – 1/2 of your staple diet becomes unaffordable.

    Indeed these sort of exagerrations are already part of the United States society. Will it just be a matter of time until they seep through here..

  9. G C 9

    Landlords are not meeting their responsibility to provide efficient heating in their rentals. I recently shifted house here in Christchurch, insulation was certainly ONE of the issues prompting the move.

    The house (1920’s) had 2 fireplaces, however the chimneys were both down. The fireplaces had been sealed poorly (one with a piece of cardboard) so draft was a problem.

    The heat-pump was placed in a bedroom, however said heat-pump was NOT even able to heat that room. The house, it turned out hadn’t been insulated since the 1920’s. It was impossible to heat and you would ALWAYS wakeup seeing your breath.

    There were a lot of problems with that house ($360 per week). On the surface it was clean and tidy – but under the surface; heating, plumbing, water cylinder, shower, etc were all shocking. A friend stayed in the garage for a few weeks – it was warmer out there with no heating than in the house!

    When the neighbours saw me moving out they came and spoke with me. They said the owners would rent-it-out before the beginning of winter and nobody ever made it through winter. I told them it was now with an rental agency and they had refused to fix any problems! It’s a total racket!

    I rent a spacious, refurbished unit now. I enjoy the luxury of a heat-pump that because of half-decent insulation can warm the house.

    Landlords and Rental Agencies should be paying compensation to people where houses are not fit for purpose.

  10. lprent 10

    This is a complete side-issue, digression, and trivia. In a large part my apartment is mostly heated by the readers and commenters of this site.

    I have a very well insulated apartment with a polished concrete floor. More than 90% of the heating is improvised by the waste heat of a 125W CPU in the server running The Standard with a bit from the 225W workstation, the disks in the RAID array, and the equipment for UPSes and fibre.

    We only use a electric oil heater occasionally at low power at night. Usually when we don’t cook.

    Auckland helps. But the thermal mass of the floor above its insularion accullmulates heat during the day and releases it at night when we have windows open.

    We always come home to a warm home…

    Computers + insulation + thermal mass – the high tech way to heat…

    • G C 10.1

      Your Awesome – Love Your Work 🙂

      In light of your above comment, I can’t help but conclude this post is indeed contributing to your domestic warming lol

      Insulation is diffidently key down here in ChCh. I’ve diffidently learnt my lesson about renting older homes, of which ChCh has many.

      Because bigger families aren’t suited (space-wise) to modern units and townhouses – families are pressured/forced into the older homes commonly found here. With chimneys shaken down and gaps shaken wider – slumlords are rubbing there hand all the way to the bank. Contrary, resident’s queue for blankets/bedding – its just sickening and makes me so angry!

      It’s been a very cold beginning to winter down here. I know what people will be going through. I’m glad The Standard covers issues like this.

      • Lanthanide 10.1.1

        My requirement for renting is double glazing + heat pump + dishwasher. If it meets all those 3 it will generally be a more recent house (can tell from the style it’s age anyway) and therefore have basic building standard insulation in it.

        Throw in “must allow cats” and it limits my potential options a lot.

        • G C

          I’m thankful to be enjoying the luxury of both a heat-pump and dishwasher again. My new place is well insulated and modernised, alas no double glazing. There is a cat-flap in the door though – maybe time for a kitten 🙂

          • lprent

            The warming purrrrrr factor? Pity it doesn’t overcome on those well-insulated warm evenings of the fragrance of the drying kitty puddles in the corner……

            PS: Lynn – for all of your myth puncturing needs 😈

            • Lanthanide

              If you’re not living in an apartment (or Auckland…), the kitties have a backyard to crap in. No smell problems at all!

              • lprent


                Who’d have a backyard? It involves chewing up kittie poo with lawnmowers…

                • Lanthanide

                  You don’t know much about cats, do you?

                  They bury their poo in the dirt. It’s dogs that crap all over your lawn. That’s why cats rule and dogs drool.

              • G C

                I’ve got a wee court-yard bit, it would be nice to have a kitten around. I’ll wait till the SPCA is having a ‘glut’ in the market lol. My last cat died quite shockingly and suddenly last year 🙁 but I think I’m ready for another 🙂

      • lprent 10.1.2

        Yes. My apartment is indeed (indirectly) heated on the hot air in these forums…

        Being a childless couple, we find apartment living damn near perfect. Wouldn’t mind a 10-20 more sq metres. But since that costs about $400k+ more up here, we may forgo it.

    • adam 10.2

      Glad my hot air, gives you hot air.

  11. vto 11

    The Crown just took heaps of our land in Christchurch, you would think the least they could do is provide us with some blankets in return …..

    fuck me, some things never change

  12. millsy 12

    Re:the discussion about fireplaces: At least with firewood there is a genuinely functioning market with genuine choice for consumers.

  13. Mike the Savage One 13

    What Christchurch needs is Nick Smith to join them, to sleep under blankets, in freezing cold homes, not affordable to heat, to get a damned grip of how out of touch he and his useless government is.

    Time to send Nick (the “Dick”) down south, into the chill, I reckon, after that embarrassing new “insulation policy” and change to the tenancy law that he announced today.

    I suggest Nick go and freeze for four years, to get a damned taste of what it is like to live in an uninsulated, un-heatable home, in winter.

    Out of touch, I suppose, that is the explanation for the idiot policy announcements coming from Nick and his fellow travelers on the National train to disaster.

    • Heather Grimwood 13.1

      To Mike at 13: Why not include the whole Cabinet ? and without expensive thermal/ski gear.

      • Mike the Savage One 13.1.1

        I could well agree, put them all there, under blanket ban, from Auckland and Wellington, where they have overstayed their welcome. I dare think, in Christchurch it will be a chilly wind blowing around their ears also.

  14. Treetop 14

    Some people knit or crochet blankets for the neonatal ward. Odd left over wool can be made into peggy squares and turned into blankets of all sizes. There are people who just love to knit or crochet, affording the wool can be a problem for some.

    I have gone as far as buying good second hand woolen jerseys and turning them into blankets for the younger family members.

  15. HumPrac 15

    This “A Brighter Future” slogan reminds me of the obama slogan, which says…
    All you have to do is take the ‘d’ off the end of the word and you’re left with…
    ‘Forwar’, or ‘for war’.

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