Parents Centre and HRV join forces to tackle child poverty - 24/04/2012

Parents Centre and HRV are spearheading a community-led initiative to begin to address the complex issues surrounding child poverty and poor health in New Zealand.

Parents Centre has partnered with leading ventilation specialist, HRV, to provide ventilation and heating for a deserving and carefully selected family home. The Sustainability Trust is also joining the project - and will complete a full home assessment and provide insulation and curtains and energy analysis in the home, with the objective of reducing energy bills for the family.

The initiative has been named the 'Starfish Project' after the famous Starfish Story about how to make a difference when the core issue - widespread poverty contributing to poor health - simply seems too big to tackle.

Bruce Gordon, Chief Executive of HRV, says, "We have seen the extent of cold, poorly ventilated homes that are damp and mouldy, right across the country. These unsatisfactory living conditions cause a myriad of health problems such as asthma, flu and the potential onset of a range of allergies. The unhealthy state of New Zealand homes is costing our communities and something must be done about it. We're pleased to be working with Parents Centre on this project, which is a step in a positive direction."

The 'Starfish' family is the Taliulu family, from Porirua East, who are currently living in overcrowded and damp, cold conditions:

  • 9 people are currently living in the small 3 bedroom home (including grandmother who is on dialysis)
  • 5 children - ages 12, 11, 9, 8 and 21 months
  • Little house insulation
  • No ventilation
  • Current heating consists of one stand alone gas heater (which contributes to dampness)
  • Constant illness in winter from colds, flus and coughs and a definite threat of asthma related conditions

HRV is proud to be supporting such an important community-driven initiative.