Homestar director Leigh Featherstone (left), Dunedin Mayor
Dave Cull and Anderson Lloyd lawyer Rachel Brooking at a
New Zealand Green Building Council event in Dunedin this
week. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Damp, draughty and mouldy Dunedin homes will be targeted
by a warrant of fitness being developed by home-performance
joint venture Homestar.
The Green Building Council, a partner in Homestar with Branz,
hosted a masterclass in Dunedin this week on the development
of the warrant of fitness (Wof).
The event, held at Anderson Lloyd Lawyers, attracted
representatives from the University of Otago, Otago
University Students' Association, Dunedin City Council,
Presbyterian Support and building and insulation industry
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull opened the event, speaking about
Dunedin's old building stock and its impact on the economic
development and social wellbeing of the city.
Landlords renting a property were selling a product and a
certain standard should be expected, he said.
Homestar director Leigh Featherstone said, with help from the
University of Otago's healthy home index, councils and the
Accident Compensation Corporation, draft criteria for a Wof
had been developed covering categories such as insulation and
heating, moisture and ventilation, sanitisation, electricity
That could translate into standards such as having hot water
at no more than 55degC and having securely laid carpet,
handrails on steps and properly installed insulation, Mr
Only one Wof was needed nationwide, incorporating regional
The aim was to create warm, efficiently heated, safe, secure
and healthy homes, he said.
How a Wof could be implemented was a complex issue, as
ideally a third party would assess homes, but that would
create another industry.
There were also unintended consequences to be assessed, Mr
Next to be developed was an assessment methodology so homes
could be assessed within an hour and the results reported
easily, possibly using an Android app.
The aim was to run field tests in October and adopt the Wof
Anderson Lloyd lawyer Rachel Brooking said once the standards
were set, the cost to landlords and tenants needed to be
considered, along with whether it would apply to only rental
properties or generally, how it would be enforced and who
would administer it.
Issues such as incentivising landlords, the time frame for
implementing the Wof system and what legislation needed to be
amended would come next.
A participant, designer Gary Todd, of Dunedin, said Otago
people had a great culture of working together so changes
could be made without regulation from Government.
The Green Star commercial standard was well accepted in the
commercial building sector, so the same approach could be
taken in the private market, he said.