Thanks to students’ associations throughout New Zealand and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation authority, Wellington’s signature freezing flats might soon be a thing of the past.
Aaron Packard, president of campus environmental group Gecko, says most student flats in Wellington and other student cities are currently below the world health standards for insulation – “yet it is a profoundly simple problem to solve – it just requires a few people to come together and be dedicated to solving it.”
A proposal by students’ associations and environmental groups from Victoria University, Otago University and the University of Auckland, along with Sustainability Trust and NZ Property Investors’ Federation for more government funding through EECA to specifically target student flats has been delivered to the Prime Minister, along with government spokesperson on energy efficiency Jeanette Fitzsimons and Minister of Energy David Parker as well as to representatives of the EECA.
Packard says, “this proposal will complement other government strategies to mitigate climate change by reducing the demand for electricity.”
While he says universities have no official responsibility in finding a solution to unhealthy, uneconomical and unsustainable student flats, “the University could look really good if it decided to sponsor/help with the project.
“It would show that it genuinely cares for its students and their living conditions.”