Having a warm, dry and secure house has a huge impact on our wellbeing. Too many of our tamariki are hospitalised during the winter with respiratory admissions.
Over the years, the Wharariki Trust has been an advocate for secure and healthy housing.
We know from evidence that having a healthy, safe, warm and dry home has many positive impacts such as being more resilient to illness.
Years ago, Graham Duff, who was then the president of the Hawke’s Bay Property Investors Association, discussed with us how we could support tenants with securing rental properties. From this conversation Ready to Rent (R2R) http://www.ourhealthhb.nz/community-services/healthy-homes/ready-to-rent/ was born.
Many of our homes in Hawke’s Bay would not meet the healthy homes standards https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/files/healthy-homes-standards-key-facts.pdf introduced by the government in 2019 which specifically addresses insulation, heating and ventilation.
Critical Housing Repairs
Our largest piece of work has been critical housing repair work funded by Te Puni Kokiri with referrals from Te Whatu Ora Health NZ Child Health Team, where there are sick tamariki living in whānau owned homes.
This piece of work stretched geographically from Wairoa to Takapau. This has been some of the most rewarding work that many of our team have ever been involved with. This is because with a fixed amount of money, we can transform parts of the whānau whare to make the house warm, dry and safe. It is humbling to witness whānau living with no running hot water, no functioning bathrooms and one power point that serves the whole house.
Our builders Manzis Build https://www.tpk.govt.nz/en/mo-te-puni-kokiri/our-stories-and-media/repairs-transform-hawkes-bay-home-from-hazardous and Short Construction https://www.shortconstruction.co.nz/ have been with us over this four year journey, transforming whānau homes.
Currently there is an emphasis on whānau home ownership, therefore this programme is limited. We continue to advocate for this programme to be fully funded.
We receive funding through Te Whatu Ora to provide minor repairs, again through the Child Health Team where there are sick children. This may be fixing broken windows, latches, installing fireguards or installing ventilation.
The Child Health Team are excellent at sourcing heating devices and insulation. We often top up with donated funds for items which are more than the specified budget.
Hot water cylinders for example are expensive and we assist with topping up funds to replace these.
Grid-tie Solar installations
In 2021/ 2022 the Whararik Trust was successful with an application to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment
Funding enabled us to install 15 3.6kw photo voltaic solar systems with a hot water diverter that uses surplus solar to heat hot water. This was used for 15 whānau owned household addresses in Hawke’s Bay, three of which have been installed in Wairoa.
This will subsidise whānau power.
“I have received what I’m hoping is my normal from now on, hehe, a power bill which was half my usual monthly power bill. Yay. Nothing has changed in my home, we still have four of us in there, with a teenager in the home, TV’s, chargers, lights and a stove being used often. All night and day after school, which get used and left on. So, my bills would usually hit around the $190 / $200 mark a month. My last power bill was $89. A huge difference.
I want to thank you again for putting me on your list for Solar panels, this is a huge help to us."
How You Can Help
You can make a donation towards the continuation of this project.