The poor condition of state houses has been blamed for the second death of a tenant in a week – but the Housing Minister says people dying from respiratory illnesses is not new – and the Government can’t prevent them all.
Toddler Emma-Lita Bourne died of a brain haemorrhage in August 2014, which the coroner found could partly be blamed on the poor condition of the state house she lived in.
Her family had been given a heater but could not afford to run it.
Soesa Tovo, a father of six, died on August 15 last year despite his doctors and the district health board making numerous requests that he be moved from his Papakura HNZ home.
The 37-year-old was being treated for heart and lung problems as well as pneumonia and had been admitted to hospital.
Housing New Zealand chief executive Glen Sowry said Tovo’s case would suggest there were things ‘we could have done better’ the Paul Henry Show reported.
But Housing Minister Nick Smith said housing was just part of a broader picture – and the Government had put huge effort into improving the quality of housing.
‘The state of our Housing New Zealand homes – very clearly – is substantially better than houses in the private sector’ Smith said on the Paul Henry Show.
‘People dying in winter from pneumonia and from other illnesses is not new’.
(ed:..can he/this govt. really be so glib/uncaring..?..i watched smith uttering those words – and my mouth was half-open in disbelief – the man has cloth-ears..)