The Healthy Homes Tai Tokerau insulation programme will soon surpass a significant milestone - retrofitting its 10,000th Northland home with insulation.
And the team behind the Healthy Homes Tai Tokerau Governance Group say they are more driven than ever to ‘finish the job’.
Healthy Homes General Manager Paul Hansen estimates there are around 6000 more homes in need of insulation to create warmer, drier and healthier households in Northland.
“Our crews are doing a phenomenal job at the moment and we will pass the 10,000 mark in June, which is a remarkable achievement considering we started the programme in 2007 and really didn’t know where it would end up,” says Mr Hansen.
“We are so thankful to the support of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) ($17m), Foundation North ($10m) and our third party Northland funders ($3m) who have been with us from day one. It is their money and support which has allowed us to insulate so many homes – 4401 in Whangarei, 1467 in Kaipara and 3192 in the Far North.
“Our drive now is to secure the partnerships and funding we need to finish the job. At average cost of $3066 to insulate each home, we need between $18m-$19m to do another 6000 homes over the next five or six years. It would be so good for our community.”
In the nine months to June 30, 2019, a further 558 Northland homes will have been insulated.
Foundation North CEO Jennifer Gill says the Healthy Homes Tai Tokerau programme shows clear measurable health outcomes, especially for children.
“Home insulation is a proven way of lowering health risk. The cost of insulating a home is the same as a night’s stay at Starship Hospital – being well because you live in a property that is warm and dry also means children get to school and don’t miss out on sport and leisure time,” she says.
Meantime, EECA’s CE Andrew Caseley has congratulated the Healthy Homes Tai Tokerau Governance Group for reaching its 10,000 milestone.
“The significant contributions from organisations in the community means there is no cost in most cases for eligible homeowners in Northland for insulation under Warmer Kiwi Homes - that’s a fantastic result.”
Mr Hansen believes what differentiates HHTT’s delivery model from others in New Zealand is the ‘Governance Group’ comprised of Northland Funders (Manaia PHO, Te Tai Tokerau PHO, Northland DHB, Northpower and Top Energy) and other committed supporters (Ministry of Social Development, Te Puni Kokiri, Ngati Hine Trust, Te Uri O Hau and the Northland Housing Forum).
“Through the knowledge of Northland, its communities and needs, HHTT and the Governance Group can connect and network incredibly well to ensure the right outcomes are reached. HHTT and the Governance Group know how to engage with these communities and bring real results in both housing and health outcomes,” he says.
“HHTT also has had a long relationship with key funders, Foundation North and the ‘Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority’ and we sincerely appreciate their substantial contribution to what we have been able to achieve.
“Thanks to our funders, there has been around $30 million injected into the Northland economy. Using the accepted multiplier effect, it is recognised that money has cycled 2.7 times, meaning the programme has been an incredible boost to struggling communities through wages, business support and initiation of flow-on community-good projects.”
Mr Hansen says the programme has given gainful employment to over 85 people in Northland, often a stepping-stone of a low skill start into employment that has seen some staff move onto their dream long-term vocation.
“Chris Farrelly, ex-CEO of Manaia PHO once said that this is the most positive health outcome programme he has ever been involved in. The more we continue on this journey, the more I see where Chris was coming from,” says Mr Hansen.