Ministry Of Defence Houses “Freezing”

This news item may be of interest to people thinking of emigrating to New Zealand and working for the NZ defence force. Defence housing appears to have exactly the same problems with lack of insulation, damp and heating that other homes have in New Zealand. The women have gone public with their concerns because they’re unable to put up with symptoms any longer. These include barking coughs, asthma, ear and chest infections and allergies suffered by young children:

Freezing Cold Houses anger RNZAF Mums

“Some of the women living at RNZAF Base Woodbourne are waging war with the Ministry of Defence over freezing temperatures in the houses where they are raising families.

Two partners of air-force servicemen said they were desperate for action after going through all the right channels and having their complaints ignored. One was so fed up she said she was leaving Marlborough to bring her family up in Christchurch, leaving her husband behind. Splitting the family was a last resort, but her children’s health came first, she said.

Air Force spokesman Squadron Leader Kavae Tamariki said military housing throughout New Zealand was in poor condition. “I understand where the Woodbourne women are coming from,” he said. Any complaints would be listened to if they went through the correct chain of command, he said.”

“The complaints included homes with no insulation and no carpet, where fireplaces had been boarded up, damp crept up the walls, mould grew and window frames were rotten, with paint holding the glass in place. Heat escaped through gaps between the floorboards and around the windows. Water from a leaking roof ran down the walls of one house. Each home had a heat pump, but even with it on all day, one woman said they had to wear down jackets and scarves.

One woman had a power bill for June of more than $580. More here

For more about winter living conditions in New Zealand please read:

NZ’s High Winter Death Rate and Burning Wood to Keep Warm

“Most People Consider Hypothermia a Symptom of Being Cold, Rather an Expression of National Identity

Leaky Homes

The Problems Migrants Encounter with Housing

Immigrants Caught in Cold Poverty Trap

$380 a Week Gets You What?

How to go to Bed New Zealand Style