There is a strong relationship between housing and health.

Cold and damp housing contributes to respiratory disease, poor mental health and an exacerbation of chronic conditions.

Overcrowded housing is associated with the spread of infectious diseases such as meningococcal disease.

Housing size, location, structure, and materials also affect occupants' health, as does the way people heat, ventilate and generally use their homes.

New Zealand has very high rates of asthma and respiratory infections – with children, the elderly and those on lower incomes being worse off.

New Zealand research into housing and disability shows that inappropriate housing is detrimental to disabled people's independence, social opportunity and safety.

WHO Housing and health guidelines

Improved housing conditions can save lives, prevent disease, increase quality of life, reduce poverty, and help mitigate climate change. Housing is becoming increasingly important to health in light of urban growth, ageing populations and climate change.


Warmer Kiwi Homes

Warmer Kiwi Homes is a four-year goverment programme offering grants covering two-thirds of the cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation.  Additional contributions from community organisations has allowed people who live in and own their own homes to receive a higher grant value.

Please note that grants may not be available or may have run out in some areas.

Grants covering two thirds of the cost of heating appliances will be available from July 2019 (these grants will be capped).

People who fit the following criteria can self-refer for a free no obligation quote by contacting Absolute Energy at 0800 423 454.

Eligibility criteria

  • Live in own home
  • Have a current Community Services Card (CSC) or a Gold Card (endorsed CSC)
  • Have a home built before 2008
  • Live in a designated grant area

The Warmer Kiwi Homes programme is funded by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority ( EECA), the Rata Foundation, Nelson City Council, Marlborough District Council, Nelson Marlborough Health, Port Nelson, Network Tasman and the Mainland Foundation.

Visit or phone 0800 749 782

Heating Appliances

Grants covering two thirds of the cost of heating appliances will be available from July 2019 (these grants will be capped).
For more information contact



Ceiling and underfloor insulation was made compulsory in all rental homes from 1 July 2019.
Landlords who don’t comply with the regulations will be committing an unlawful act and may be liable for a penalty of up to $4,000.



Older people's housing

Repairs and maintenance

A well-maintained house is essential to older people's health and wellbeing.

Older people may find home maintenance difficult. For this reason, the Good Homes: Repairs and Maintenance Assessment and Solutions checklist is available to help assess what maintenance work should be prioritised.



Older people are frequently told downsizing is the best pathway to a comfortable home in older age. Many want to stay where they are or want to consider a range of options. It is not so much downsizing that is important, but finding the best fit or rightsizing.

Following extensive research with older people and organisations that support older people, a practical decision support tool My Home, My Choices Ngā Kete o te Whare is available.

More useful information

Home sweet healthy home  is a checklist from the Asthma Respiratory Foundation NZ to keep your home dry, warm and pollution free.

Keeping your home warm and dry this winter gives useful information and some quick tips on reducing moisture in your home and preventing the spread of germs.