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A warmer winter for Waiheke houseboat

Aug 5, 2022

Michelle who has been living on a Waiheke houseboat named Peace Seeker, is now warmer after receiving support from the Healthy Homes Programme.

She values the Waiheke community, a reason why she made it her home. Michelle said, “I feel really held within this little motu. There is a good a bunch of people here from all walks of life. But living on a houseboat isn’t without its quirks.”

Michelle, who’s houseboat is permanently moored amongst Mangroves that locals lovingly call the swamp explained that living on a houseboat can be challenging, especially in winter. “There’s a mezzanine so I sleep at the top of the space which I’ve realised is possibly one of the coldest places, as heat travels out of the roof and there’s no insulation in the walls.  Last year, I was freezing and I thought, there’s no way I want to be that cold again. As it’s been such a wet winter, mould had started growing everywhere”

After seeing an add of facebook Michelle contacted Martha, the Habitat Healthy Homes person for Waiheke who did a full in home assessment.

Michelle said, “The whole process worked out so perfectly. She did the assessment at the start of the winter when it was starting to get colder, installed the curtains along with giving me practical tips on dealing with mould. She showed me how to spray and wipe the mould with a microfiber cloth which cleans it up. I’m redoing the carpet on the flooring and made sure to stock up on wood for my wood burner. I’m making it cosy so that I don’t get caught out again.”

“I’ve noticed quite a big difference since the curtains have been up. When the fire is on, and the curtains are drawn it is different. I can physically go into one of the spaces and then think, wow, the difference is uncanny. You don’t realise it’s that cold. You adopt that kind of mentality, ‘She’ll be right, I’ll just deal with it,’ said Michelle.

To find out more about our Healthy Homes Service visit habitat.org.nz/northern/how-we-help/healthy-home-service/