Budget 2016 - Struggling whānau hope for some relief

updated By Aroha Mane
  • Auckland

A whānau who wish to remain anonymous has told Māori Television's online news team, all they want from this year’s budget is a healthy home to raise their children in. 

The husband and wife with two children say Prime Minister John Key and Finance Minister Bill English should spend a few nights in their home, so they can see and feel for themselves what it’s really like to live in a cold home.

The couple lives in the Pt England suburb of East Auckland with their two children.

While one of them works as an administrator the other can’t work due to illness and their combined income is under $45,000 with some assistance provided by Working for Families.

Ideally, they would have preferred to live in a state house, but with limited availability of state homes and the recent sell-off of state houses in East Auckland they've had to opt for renting a private home.

“We pay $410.00 per week, that’s pretty much half our pay, so sometimes we have to get in flatmates.” 

They live in a cold house, with a monthly power bill of $300 in winter, their children often suffer from asthma, but the family says addressing the issue could mean they’ll have to move.

“It’s a private home if we complain we risk losing our home and we can’t afford to move." 

Regardless of their situation, they are aware there are families worst off than their own.

“I think we need more emergency housing for families with young children regardless of income or race. It’s just heartbreaking seeing families on tv in those situations.”

2016 Budget Update

The Government is investing $36 million into the “Warm Up New Zealand” programme, which will ensure more families live in warmer, drier and healthier homes.

The investment includes:

·         $18 million of operating funding over two years to extend the Warm Up New Zealand programme to insulate rental houses occupied by low-income tenants, particularly those with high health needs.

·         $18 million over four years to expand the Healthy Homes Initiative to reduce preventable illnesses among young children (newborns to 5-year olds) who are living in cold, damp and unhealthy homes.

New Funding provides families with insulation, curtains, heating, beds, maintenance and repairs, and advice on ventilation, mould removal and sleeping arrangements for children.

The Pt England were asked what they thought about the recent announcement and they said, ‘this is great news, I hope the support will be easy to access.”