A discussion about the Dunedin City Council's possible
involvement in a housing warrant of fitness (Wof) programme
remained in the non-public part of the council's meeting
yesterday, despite a bid for it to be discussed publicly.
A housing Wof test is being developed by the housing and
health research programme at the University of Otago,
Wellington, and the New Zealand Green Building Council.
The idea is to establish a minimum standard for rental
accommodation and encourage improved housing performance over
Cr Lee Vandervis started yesterday's meeting by suggesting an
agenda item titled ''Dunedin City Council participation in
housing warrant of fitness field test'', listed in the
non-public part of the agenda, be moved to the public part.
There appeared to be no good reason for not discussing it in
public, he said.
However, he was voted down after staff explained the project
was a national one with many partners, including councils
that chose to participate in the programme, and the agreement
was not to discuss the details publicly until a co-ordinated
national announcement was made.
To discuss it publicly at this stage would undermine the
project and breach the confidence of the parties involved,
It was reported in September that, with help from the
University of Otago's healthy home index, councils and the
Accident Compensation Corporation, draft criteria for a
national Wof had been developed covering categories such as
insulation and heating, moisture and ventilation, electricity
The Wof incorporated regional variations.
The implementation costs and unintended consequences of such
a programme were yet to be assessed at that stage and the
cost to landlords and tenants still needed to be considered,
along with whether it would apply only to rental properties
or generally, how it would be enforced and who would
The aim at that stage was to run field tests in October and
adopt the Wof by December.