1 May 2016

Push to keep Northland insulation programme

1:07 pm on 1 May 2016

The leader of a Northland health organisation is pleading for continued funding for the insulation of cold, unhealthy homes.

no caption

Insulating a house can make a big difference to the health of its inhabitants, Chris Farrelly says. (file photo) Photo: 123rf

Manaia PHO chief executive Chris Farrelly says the government's funding commitment to the home insulation programme runs out in June, and there's no word on what will replace it.

Mr Farrelly said the insulation of 8000 houses in Northland in the past decade had changed the lives of the families who lived in them - but there were still 7000 more that needed insulating.

"During the winter months some of the children who are living in these appalling conditions access a doctor almost every couple of weeks or they'll end up in ED [hospital emergency department].

"Then we've tracked what happens when the house is changed and it just translates immediately to very few presentations to ED, White Cross, or doctors."

Mr Farrelly, who is about to take over as Auckland City Mission head, said warm housing was especially important for a region still seeing cases of rheumatic fever.

He said he saw the subsidised insulation programme, which began in Whangarei, as the most effective project of his health career.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs