Whenever I get stressed about a work-related problem, I try to remind myself that most of what I do really doesn’t matter. After all, if some content I’ve written has a typo or spelling mistake then it’s easily fixed. After all, I’m not a pilot or air traffic controller and my mistakes don’t result in a flaming wreck at the end of the runway or debris raining from the skies. Continue reading What’s your problem?→
I love Auckland – it’s a great city in summer but in winter it has days when the endless ceiling of drab grey skies is seemingly only broken by icy blobs of rain and a sharp wind that sneaks under your clothes and chills your bones.
I tend to go into semi-hibernation, sleep work sleep, broken only by the dreary daily commute to work. It was on one of these blah days – get up in the dark, a long tedious drive home in the rain, when everyone in Auckland seems to forget how to drive and the radio presenters seemed more inane than usual, that I got a Skype call from a friend who had moved to Queensland.
I wrote this article on unhealthy homes three years ago and it is so frustrating that nothing seems to have changed – in fact it seems to be worsening, especially with the housing bubble in Auckland. Houses simply aren’t being upgraded, and with more and more people renting, it is unlikely to change. Landlords tend to go for the cheapest possible option, and with no pressure or incentive to insulate houses, why would they bother. Until there is a mandatory WOF, I doubt that much will change. But how to achieve that? How many children will have to die from respiratory illnesses caused by poor housing before the government acts?
Research has been ongoing for the past 20 years about the shocking state of New Zealand’s housing stock, especially pre 2000 buildings.
“The Department of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington research group, led by Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman, has also undertaken extensive research into the links and associations between housing and health over a number of years. This work has underpinned national and local policies for healthy homes. The research showed that 14 percent of children between two and fourteen years old, and 11 percent of all New Zealanders aged fifteen years or older have been diagnosed or had symptoms consistent with asthma. These are some of the highest rates in the world.”
A question often asked is: “What if you only had five years to live?” Or the favourite of job interviewers everywhere: “Where do you see yourself in five years time?” A lot can happen in five years, a lot can happen in six months or even a week. But what if there are no options left, what if this is it? Today is your last day, no more one day I’ll learn a language, climb Mt Kilimanjaro, or do a skydive?