National’s new housing minister is looking into the possibility of a “warrant of fitness” for rental properties.
The idea has been championed by the Green Party and was backed up last year by an advisory group on child poverty, which found almost three-quarters of impoverished children were living in rental properties.
The Greens had called for such a scheme to enforce minimum standards for heating, light and insulation, and for properties to be inspected regularly.
Housing Minister Nick Smith said Housing New Zealand would have to bring its properties up to standard before it put demands on the private sector.
But he had asked his officials to do some groundwork on a warrant of fitness scheme for all rental properties.
The New Zealand Property Investors Federation has said that such a scheme would be costly and force landlords to hike rents.
President Andrew King said: "It's not so much a daft idea but it's an unnecessary idea. A lot of the things that are covered by a warrant of fitness are already in other acts like the Health and Safety Act… it would just be a duplication."