CEN News: WoF for rentals, HPA traini...
Home  »  Hub blog  »  CEN News: WoF for re...
Sally Blackwell
CEN News: WoF for rentals, HPA training and more…

For your info – CEN’s latest member’s newsletter is included below. Its also in the Newsletters file in the Best Practice Library

If  you’d like to share your newsletter or some news with other Hub participants let me know and I”ll be happy to post it here.


Welcome to the CEN members newsletter for February!

It’s been another busy month for CEN with the launch of the Home Performance Advisor programme a highlight.  This was held in Wellington on 20th Feb, and despite the fog and airport closures it went ahead! There has also been a lot of work taking place on the CEN business plan, keeping in mind this is an election year, we have a big opportunity ahead of us to be heard on the issues facing the residential housing sector.  Political parties are starting to share their policy secrets which gives us a bit of insight into where their collective heads are at.   Finally there has been a number of interesting articles in the media which you will find at the end of the newsletter.

  1. WoF for rental properties

A quick update from the WoF trial project manager (there are no actual results yet); ‘The WOF trial is going well and is in full swing at the moment. Tauranga has just finished doing their inspections and Wellington will be finished very shortly.  The other Councils involved (Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin) have all started on their inspections.  The tenant/landlord interviews will be done by phone and should be started in the first week of March.’

You may have also seen the government media release from earlier this month ‘Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today announced the start of a trial Warrant of Fitness scheme on Housing New Zealand homes.’  The 3 areas included in the WoF leave a bit to be desired, although this is no doubt just the summarised version for the media release and there will be more detail behind the following 3 areas:

1. Insulated and dry: including ceiling and under floor insulation, ventilation and no obvious leaks in the roof or cladding;
2. Safe and secure: including for example smoke alarms, handrails on stairs;
3. Essential amenities: including for example functioning power points, food preparation facilities, and a functioning bath/shower and toilet.

Click here for the full article, posted on the CEN website.

The NZGBC/Otago University WoF currently being tested by the 5 councils has 31 criteria and includes things like fixed heating appliance and curtains.

Ideally we want to see one national minimum standard for rental properties in NZ, but it has to be effective in raising the current standards.  We will keep watching this space with interest (as well as being involved as and when we can).

  1. Home Performance Advisor programme

Despite airport closures, cancelled flights and then more delays, I actually made it to the launch (3mins before it was due to start), and it was a great night.

In attendance were representatives from EECA, Housing NZ, social service agencies like Housing Advice NZ, Wellington City Council (including Mayor Wade-Brown), BRANZ, as well as a raft of others interested in registering for the programme or keen to understand it in order to support it.  The programme was very well received by all with lots of follow up meetings scheduled.

We have also just received notification that the HPA logo trademark application has been accepted, the process means we need to wait 6 months before we can use the ™ symbol, but it’s great to know it’s been accepted.

The ongoing HPA work now is mostly around building relationships within the sector so the programme is recognised, acknowledged and most importantly profiled.  The next courses are being run in April (level 1) and May (level 2) and all information can be found on the CEN website under the training tab from the home page. Please make sure you include a link on your own website to this page!


  1. More Curtain Banks soon to open in the North Island

CEN members in South Auckland and Northland will soon be opening the doors to new Curtain Banks – more info will be in the March newsletter.

  1. National election announcements and updates

With the national election just around the corner we will start seeing interesting policy and other political announcements, the following is one of them from stuff.co.nz on 14th February.  CEN has a good relationship with Hikurangi and will be exploring opportunities this announcement might present for any national initiatives.

‘More than $1 million of Government funding has been set aside to build start-up social enterprises. Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Jo Goodhew today announced $1.27 million would go to supporting organisations that furthered human and environmental well-being, but using commercial models to generate income.

“This government recognises that by combining social goals and business methods, social enterprise has the potential to play a significant role in New Zealand’s social innovation and economic development,” Goodhew said.’

Click here for the full article.

There will also be a surge of MP’s touring up and down the country over the next few months, so I will endeavour to get to a few of the meetings to talk about the work of CEN and it’s members.  The first one I’m attending is Monday March 3rd in Tauranga with opposition leader David Cunliffe.

  1. Upcoming Events

The Energy Conference 2014 (National Energy Research Institute)

Going Further with Energy; initiatives for efficiency and productivity

This is NERI’s annual conference, joined in partnership with the University of Otago.

The conference will be held in Wellington from 19 to 21 March 2014, early bird registrations have been extended until Friday 28th Feb!   Click here.

CEN has been asked to give a rapid fire presentation on the afternoon of the first day, the presentation is called ‘The Importance of Good Advice’ and it will be about the HPA programme.  Click here for the full programme

Building a Better NZ Conference

Research Strategy for the Building and Construction Sector
The conference will run over three days from 3-5th September 2014 at the Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland.

The conference will comprise plenary sessions along with parallel sessions for presentation of papers on the conference themes. A detailed programme with titles of papers and names of speakers will be available in early August 2014.

For more information about the conference click here.

  1. In the News  

Experts back Greens’ solar plan www.nzherald.co.nz Mon Feb 17, Isaac Davison

Kiwis would be able to borrow up to $15,000 to install photovoltaic panels at home and pay back via rates.  The Green Party’s promise to save households $100 a year on power bills by lending them money to buy solar panels has been tentatively backed by energy experts, despite the Government’s claims that the policy is a costly subsidy.

The party announced the second part of its energy policy in Auckland yesterday. Under the Solar Homes scheme, New Zealanders would be able to borrow up to $15,000 from the Government to install photovoltaic panels and then pay it back via their council rates over 15 years.  Click here for the full article.

How green is my town?
www.nzherald.co.nz  Sun Feb 16, Alan Perrott

Jerome Partington, one of the people behind New Zealand’s most revolutionary building hopes the design will be a greenprint for more of the same countrywide, writes Alan Perrott.

Shoes off, lounging on the grass, chatting about dinosaur breath; this is green evangelism, Jerome Partington-style.

And as chilled as he seems, this 49-year-old expat Londoner must be feeling a wee bit of pressure. After all, he’s a big part of Jasmax’s project to construct one of the most revolutionary buildings ever attempted in New Zealand, and its highly anticipated delivery date has already been delayed a month.  Click here for the full article.

Powershop expands renewable energy shop www.nzherald.co.nz Tues 25th Feb

Meridian subsidiary Powershop has added renewable energy to its online shop in Australia, allowing customers to choose the kind of power they want to support.

Powershop, which started operating in 2009, works differently from most other electricity retailers. While customers can opt for normal monthly billing, they can also choose to take an active role in their electricity consumption by monitoring it online and buying pre-paid packs to take advantage of special deals.  Click here for the full article.

Cornish town plans to restore its energy self-sufficiency by 2020 www.theguardian.com Tues 25th Feb

To combat fuel poverty, Wadebridge – where a century ago the local electricity company and gasworks provided for all its needs – has embarked on a pioneering community energy programme.

Before high winds and rain cut off the train line from London to the south-west, I travelled to Wadebridge in north Cornwall, where a group of locals attempt to the turn back the clock and restore the town’s self-sufficiency in energy.

The Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (Wren) has plans for the town of 8,300 people to source all its energy needs from within the local area using renewables by 2020. It sounds ambitious but a hundred years ago the town’s electricity supply company and gasworks provided for all its energy needs. Click here for the full article.

That’s it for February; I hope the sun is shining (on your solar panels) where you are!

Jo Wills, CEN


Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.