From Draughty to Draft-Free: Mum Praises Awarua Synergy for Transforming Her Family’s Home

22 February 2024

Southlanders are being urged to prepare for a warmer home this winter with Awarua Synergy.

Awarua Synergy provides solutions for a warmer and healthier home for southern families in need. They are working with local funders Te Whatu Ora and the Southland Warm Homes Trust, to deliver the Healthy Homes Initiative. This offers families access to subsidies covering the cost of heaters, thermal curtains, air purifiers, bedding, and more.

Terri Baker had just had her second child when Awarua Synergy trained home assessor Kiri Pudda visited her Gore home for an assessment. “I thought we were doing okay with the insulation and everything like that,” Terri said.

“We’ve got the insulation and our windows are double glazed because we got them all retrofitted over the years, and we had decent curtains.”
Kiri came in with her “expert eye” and made changes that have made a huge difference to the family of four, Terri said.

“Before we knew it, we had curtains on the front door, Curtain linings for the existing curtains in the children’s bedrooms, an energy-efficient mica thermic heater and flannelette sheets for my son’s room and an amazing Mitsubishi air purifier that we run pretty much 24/7 in our lounge and kitchen area.”

To have somebody come in and objectively look at your home and what you could be doing was eye-opening, she said.  “You think you’re fine, but you find there’s gaps and things that need tweaked.”

The Healthy Homes Initiative was established between December 2013 and March 2015 in the North Island and now recently launched in the Deep South. Initially targeting low-income families with children at risk of rheumatic fever who were living in crowded households, the breadth of the programme was expanded to provide warm, dry and healthy housing for a range of whanau throughout New Zealand.

Awarua Synergy also partners with EECA Te Tari Tiaki Pūngao Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority to help deliver the Wamer Kiwi Homes fund, which provides grants to cover the costs of purchasing and installing insulation and efficient heating for lower income homeowners.

“Awarua Synergy are just amazing and just so good at what they do, and everyone was fantastic to deal with,” Terri said.  “We’d had our house insulated earlier by Awarua, and our floors are mostly all wood but there’s no gaps in the wood now, no draughts and there’s hardly any condensation – it has to be really cold outside for the windows to fog up.”

“It’s such a great scheme, it’s for everyone and it’s great.”


Photo – Left Daughter Phoebe Baker and Terri Baker

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