Insulating more than 9000 cold, damp and mouldy Northland homes has been labelled one of the most significant well-being projects ever undertaken in Northland.
Healthy Homes Tai Tokerau (HHTT) this week celebrated a decade making Northland homes warmer and drier – 5037 homes in the Far North, 808 in Kaipara and 3235 in Whangarei District – improving health outcomes for around 25,000 Northlanders.
That is the view of Ngaire Rae, Chair of the Healthy Homes Tai Tokerau Governance Group, following the 10th anniversary celebration of the initiative in Moerewa this week – an event attended by Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis.
Ms Rae says the insulation programme has allowed around 25,000 Northlanders to live in healthier homes in just ten years.
‘We know the impact of this programme has meant far less children in hospital, less GP visits, less time off school and work. We hear that from families all the time,” says Ms Rae.
“The vision of Healthy Homes Tai Tokerau is of a Northland where all our homes are warm, dry, and healthy. There are still 5000 - 10,000 homes in Northland that require insulation, so we are going to keep doing this work until the job is done.
“It’s great to be working on a project where the results from retrofitting insulation are instant, tangible and will be long lasting for multiple generations.
“I want to thank everybody involved in this programme – the funders, the insulation installers and the health professionals that refer families. Everyone plays a part in the success of this programme and the significance of this project is huge – for every one dollar spent, there are five times the benefits,” says Ms Rae.
It is a sentiment backed by Healthy Homes General Manager Paul Hansen, who says the roll-on effect of the $27 million invested in the programme equates to a regional economic benefit of $42 million.
After contributing $10 million to the Healthy Homes Tai Tokerau initiative over ten years, Foundation North Chief Executive Jenny Gill says she is delighted with the success of the programme.
“This has been one of Foundation North’s largest and most successful investments in Northland - something we can all be very proud of,” says Ms Gill.
“Ten years ago we had no idea that by partnering with Northland District Health Board, Te Tai Tokerau PHO, Manaia Health PHO, Northpower and Top Energy, that we could achieve such great community outcomes.
“The health, environmental and employment outcomes that have been generated through this are immense,” says Ms Gill.