24 May
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No more ‘marae style’ sleeping for Whangarei family

Published: 2016-05-24
Whangarei family

The temperatures are starting to drop and winter is just around the corner but Krishna Boyd is taking blankets off her family’s beds rather than putting extra ones on.

The Onerahi mum-of-five is a Housing New Zealand tenant whose home has recently been through the Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme.

“We used to all sleep together ‘marae style’ in the lounge,” smiles the 35-year-old who has four of her five boys, aged 7 to 18, living with her. “We’d run the heater for four or five hours before we’d feel comfortable but now it’s so warm we can walk around in our underwear. It’s awesome!”

The Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme is a joint initiative run by the Ministry of Health, Housing New Zealand and other agencies. It identifies families with children at risk of rheumatic fever, then assesses their houses and makes improvements where needed. 

Since January 2014, 875 Housing New Zealand families have been successfully referred to the Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme and 1907 interventions have been carried out across more than 750 houses.

At Krishna Boyd’s home Housing New Zealand has installed thermal curtains, replaced the carpet in one of the bedrooms, mould-treated the bedrooms and applied draught strips to the front, back and interior doors. 

“When the curtains went up we noticed a massive change right off the bat. It was so warm we had to start taking blankets off our beds,” says Ms Boyd, who works part time in retail. “Before, even when it was a sunny day, you would walk into the house and it felt damp – I would go through a roll of paper towels each morning drying the windows.”

So how is she feeling about heading into winter this year? 

“I’m prepared!” she laughs. “What’s been done to our house has been so beneficial for my family and far outweighed anything I expected – I don’t even need handi towels anymore!”

Click here for more information about rheumatic fever and our Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme.