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Healthy Homes, Healthy Kiwis

Written By: - Date published: 4:37 pm, March 17th, 2009 - 42 comments
Categories: housing, interweb, labour - Tags:

Well I’ll be, it seems Labour is finally starting to act like an opposition. They’ve set up a campaign website on home insulation – Healthy Homes, Healthy Kiwis – and have started a petition calling on the Government to commit to a home-insulation retrofitting programme.

It’s not a bad looking website, and they’ve even managed to get a bit of human interest in there too. Given their best online efforts to date involved the fiasco that was labour08.co.nz and Phil Goff standing in front of a New Zealand flag barking at his audience about the recession, this is a major improvement. And a bloody good issue to make a noise about too. Props, comrades.

42 comments on “Healthy Homes, Healthy Kiwis ”

  1. BLiP 1

    Bloody Labour – thieving Green Party ideas and trying to parade them as their own.

    http://www.greens.org.nz/node/14922

    • Tane 1.1

      That’s their MO. Still, if it gets the ideas actioned I’m all for it.

      • Ari 1.1.1

        Well, it’s kinda good that they’re moving towards some more sensible ideas instead of just going by gut and trying not to offend anyone by staying strictly in the centre. It would be nice though if they’d develop some comprehensive opposition policies to drill the government on, and to make themselves look a bit more competent- us greenies aren’t exactly at the point where we don’t rely on Labour for any of our own policies yet, but that’s no licence to lack originality 😉

        ps: Captcha was Batman commuters. lol? 🙂

  2. cocamc 2

    I don’t have an issue with the insulation program across all the state houses. What I do have an issue with is insulating my neighbours home who owns the house and does have the financial resources to carry out the work. Why I should be taxed to fund that?

    • Ianmac 2.1

      Why should I in small town South Island fund Auckland Roads? Huh?

      • cocamc 2.1.1

        Ianmac
        I agree with you, Auckland should pay for Auckland’s roads

        • higherstandard 2.1.1.1

          Quite right everyone should pay for the own roads, utilities, hospitals, schools ………. oh but who’s going to pay for those large patches of road that are outside cities and towns and what about those small towns that can’t afford to fund their own schools or hospital ?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      Everybody pays in and everybody benefits. Houses are cheaper to run, health costs less, more productivity due to less time off work because of sickness etc.

      Now stop worrying about your money because you will have a return on it. That’s the problem with the right – they think that taxes are their money being tipped down the drain because they don’t know what the returns are. The reason they don’t know what the returns are is because they haven’t learned from history.

      Hint to the right: Society is far more efficient than Individualism.

  3. lprent 3

    The new labour website is a lot better as well. I can even find their press releases.

    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with it apart from moaning about the old site.

  4. vto 4

    I’ll have one of those insulations thanks. Seeing as I don’t have to pay for it…

    but hang on, everyone will get insulated and everyone will pay for it..
    Wot’s going on? I must be missing somthing..
    I know, a paddy’s day stout. later.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Yes vto, you are missing something.

      The average home in New Zealand is sold every five years. The problem with paying to fully retro-fit insulation to a home properly (around say $10k for a 100m2 house) is that the pay-back period is considerably longer than that.

      Secondly the property market has been traditionally very inefficient at correctly pricing features in a house that save energy. Most people at the point of purchase are paying attention to location, the glossy mod-cons in the kitchen and bathrooms, the fabulous view out of the massive (single glazed) south-facing windows… etc, etc, anything but it’s energy efficiency. Worse still homes do not come with an independent, credible energy rating system that allows prospective buyers to easily place value in this aspect of it’s performance. (Anyone know what’s happened to the Green’s nascent program to get this off the ground… have the Nats canned that too?). It is only AFTER they have moved into their shiny new home, that they realise what a freezing great power-bill hog it is.

      Because the payback period is longer than you are likely to own the home, and because you are not likely to recoup the added investment on re-sale, lots of people make the economically rational choice NOT to insulate. You really cannot blame them, it’s a big lump of cash that in the long-term OTHER people get the benefit of.

      On the other hand if as a social collective, New Zealand undertakes to properly insulate ALL homes to a decent standard, then we ALL get to participate in the payback…. because regardless of how often you move house, or how poorly energy saving is priced into the value of a house… the NEXT home you move into would also be insulated to the same standard… and you get to enjoy the benefit all the same.

      • Stever 4.1.1

        This is all true—but what I’ve done before is ask to see the previous year’s power bills (easy these days as they all tend to be on a web site somewhere). Sorts the power-hogs from the mere piglets.

      • higherstandard 4.1.2

        So are your renters all insulated – or are you wanting to take advantage of a taxpayer funded freebie ?

    • Ari 4.2

      It pays for itself- about a one-hundred percent return on the investment in savings on heating and health costs over the life of the home. All “everyone” has to do is pay the interest on any loans we need to take out to implement the policy until such time as the savings improve our national budget.

  5. George Darroch 5

    I pretty happy with it. Given that insulation is a pet issue of mine, I’m happy that parties other than the Greens are advocating it. They’re even gracious enough to mention the Greens on the site too, which they didn’t have to do (although it’s presented as their idea, there is acknowledgement that that the Greens have been part of this).

  6. mike 6

    How many homes could $50,000 retrofit?.
    This is the conservative guess by TV1 covering labours cynical piss trip to the coast to brown nose the lost ‘grass roots’ vote.

    Would be funny if it wasn’t our money they were using…

    • IrishBill 6.1

      I’m more interested in how much the dozen or so regional job summits will cost as they seem to be nothing more than a National party PR gesture toward their base. The first one cost $65k and we got a cycleway and a scheme to lower wages. I reckon the next dozen will probably cost around $200k. What do you think Mike?

      • gingercrush 6.1.1

        So traveling to the west coast for a meeting with all MPs attending is worthwhile? How is that. They could have saved $50, 000 by having a three day retreat in Wellington. The thing would cost less than $5, 000. There is actually nothing wrong with going to provinces. Labour could well do with talking to the provinces. I just don’t understand why all the Labour MPs had to go.

        Oh and $65, 000 for 2, 500 jobs comes to just 26 dollars spent to save a job. I would say that actually is cost effective. That includes just the nine day fortnight and doesn’t cover the cycleway or other initiatives talked about.

        Labour’s $50, 000 on the other hand doesn’t come up to much.

        Though in fairness. Many on the right would also agree with the left that the job summits are merely wasting money and are in themselves a waste of time.

        • Tane 6.1.1.1

          Just a small point. The 2,500 jobs (assuming a 100% takeup and 100% success rate) are going to cost $20 million. The $65k was for the first jobs summit. We don’t know how much the other dozen are costing.

          • gingercrush 6.1.1.1.1

            Yes Tane. I realise there is 20 million dollars on top of that. My point was that the summit in terms of cost effectiveness is actually very good.

        • Matthew Pilott 6.1.1.2

          Hang on GingerCrush – it’s good to go to the provinces and talk to the people, but they shouldn’t have sent MPs?

          Ok, so you shouldn’t send the voted representatives, GC. Who should you send? Their pets? Actors dressed up as some of the Labour MPs’ favourite TV characters?

          I hate this stuff – people piss and moan that their MPs ignore them outside election time, and then piss and moan when they do something about it because it isn’t free. I mean look at mike – I wonder how many times he said Labour was ‘arrogant’ and ‘out of touch’, and is now having a cry over them doing something about it.

          • gingercrush 6.1.1.2.1

            Of course I mean MPs to go. Just not all of them which was my point. And how unfortunate that it seems they haven’t learn lessons since Damien O’Connor looks set to continue representing the West Coast.

          • Matthew Pilott 6.1.1.2.2

            Ah, you did say “all the Labour MPs”, I didn’t pick that up properly. Fully accept you didn’t want to see Phil Goff’s labrador (or whatever) down there…

            I don’t think it’s something worth reprimanding though – Labour are allocated money for these activities, as are all parties representing us in Parliament. They could have used the money for billboards or TV ads or Crosby Textor focus groups instead, but I think sending their people out is a better use of that money.

            Especially when you realise it’s not an opportunity cost of five homes being insulated, the simple point our friend mike missed above.

    • lprent 6.2

      Probably about five.

      Now tell me – do you apply the same criteria to the Nat’s going on ‘retreat’ last year for a weekend at the taxpayers expense. That was outside wellington.

      Similarly the Nat’s using taxpayers funds for these useless ‘job’ summits that achieve bugger all. To date that last one hasn’t saved a single job. By the rate that they keep ‘adjusting’ their decisions from it, it never will because the already weak proposals will get watered down to a homeopathic remedy.

  7. Great to see more Drupal sites! It’s really becoming mainstream now.

    • Felix 7.1

      Just curious – what is it about a drupal site that makes your heart race, dave?

    • Ianmac 7.2

      I wondered what a Drupal site was and now I know. Is the Standard set up as one?

      • lprent 7.2.1

        No. It is straight wordpress with plugins and a theme. Looked at drupal, but I prefer to use a package that is specifically written for this task (running a blog). If I want to program then I’ll do it directly by writing a plugin in PHP. If I really need to do something with speed then I’ll add an extension to PHP in c++.

        • Daveski 7.2.1.1

          Drupal is an integrated Content Management System with an emphasis on community and collaboration tools. As LP notes, WordPress is the undisputed monarch of blogging.

          Drupal like Word Press is open source and “free” in the sense that you don’t need to pay anything to use the code.

          It simplifies setting up a complex site and encourages anyone with an interest to get involved without needed specialist HTML skills etc.

          It’s also a much more cost effective solution … there is an interesting trend towards more Drupal use within the govt sector and political parties.

          In my view, Labour gets a tick for recognising that the can do more with their web sites and using drupal makes it easier to deploy low cost, high quality sites.

        • Snail 7.2.1.2

          hi LP,
          you seen this one yet..?

  8. Tane 8

    Yes Tane. I realise there is 20 million dollars on top of that. My point was that the summit in terms of cost effectiveness is actually very good.

    I don’t see how. The two big ideas from the summit were the nine day fortnight and the cycleway. Both ideas were brought up and received media coverage before the summit even happened. The cycleway still has no costing and the nine day fortnight was so bastardised after the summit that it’s been widely considered a flop.

    All the $65k was good for was National Party PR.

    • gingercrush 8.1

      So Labour squandering $50, 000 for what in itself is a PR exercise isn’t a waste of money? Not to mention the waste of greenhouse gases. Now I don’t think the jobs summit was a mere PR exercise so we’ll have to disagree on that. But if you really think the job summit was a PR exercise then surely you would agree that the Labour conference is itself a PR exercise.

      • Tane 8.1.1

        No, Labour’s is a shameless PR exercise, as was the jobs summit. It’s what politicians do. The difference is the Labour MPs were more or less open about it.

  9. todd 9

    Labour going to the coast to get back to their roots after calling them Feral!.I was down there last week and let me asure you most remember that comment.As for the job summit it was only ever a feel good pr exercise to make everyone think that it would make a difference,the storm clouds are gathering and theres sweet FA thats going to make a difference im sorry to say.

    • Kevin Welsh 9.1

      If they think the West Coast is feral, then they haven’t spent much time in Hawke’s Bay.

  10. Coaster 10

    Well, as a born & bred West Coaster, I think that it’s a great idea for Labour to get out and talk to the people. We are a part of NZ too you know – just, but we are.

    Apparently, this is just the first of a series to be run around the country and where better to start than back where it all began?

    And, as for being called Feral, about a million years ago? Who cares? Lots of people joke about the Coast. We have our opinions on ‘Dorklanders’ too.

    cheers

  11. justthefacts 11

    I do not care if Labour head to the West Coast I just want to know why the hell I should be paying for it.

    • Ianmac 11.1

      But OK last year when the Nats met in a variety of places at our expense? Do try and be consistent.

    • Matthew Pilott 11.2

      justthefacts, first off, let me say “lucky you”! You live (presumably, since you reckon you pay for Parliamentary expenses, presumably via GST and PAYE tax or similar) in New Zealand. New Zealand is a Westminster-Style Parliamentary Representative Democracy.

      What this means is that you (upon reaching the age of universal suffrage) will get to vote for a local representative, and a political party to represent you in New Zealand’s House of Representatives. The House of Representatives is located in Wellington, by the way, if you even want to pop down to see your Government in action. How great is that?!.

      Because you are a lucky New Zealander you are entitled to contact your MP and Government, and can reasonably expect some response too. What’s more, all representatives are allocated a budget with which to contact those whom they purport to represent, in order to ascertain how to best represent them.

      Isn’t that great! Imagine if that didn’t happen. Why, it wouldn’t be ‘Representative’ at all, would it? And in the infamous words of Muldoon, “we all know what that’s called”. So, now you’ve received this little lesson, hopefully you won’t begrudge the, oh, maybe two dollars a year that it costs you, in order to facilitate a degree of representation.

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