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Southland Warm Homes Trust

SWHT Property Managers of the Year

26 March 2018

L/R Southland Real Estate Manager Gus Johnston, Property Management team Margaret Reynolds, Amy Morrison, Gabby McManus, Sam Matthews, Jim Hargest (Chair of Southland Warm Homes Trust) and Leeanne Taurari.

2018 Property Manager of the Year Winner announced

Media invite to award presentation 10.30am, Wednesday 21st November, PowerNet, 251 Racecourse Road, Invercargill

The Southland Warm Homes Trust (SWHT) is pleased to announce that the winner of its 2018 Southland Property Management Company of the Year Award is the Southland Real Estate property management team.

The award will be presented to representatives of Southland Real Estate at a function on Wednesday 21st November 2018.

Southland Warm Homes Trust Chairman, Jim Hargest said the award recognises property managers who are actively improving the living conditions of tenants and supporting the vision of the SWHT.

“This year Southland Real Estate’s property management team receives the award in recognition of their efforts to help make healthier and warmer living conditions for tenants, engaging with Landlords and promoting energy saving ideas, including the Clean Air scheme. The team has also been proactively insulating many of the properties under their management,” he said.

“All of the entries had a strong focus on improving the energy efficiency of rental properties and meeting the Tenancy Services rental property insulation regulations. The Trust was impressed by the effort and
commitment Southland property management businesses have made towards improving the energy efficiency of rental properties, especially ahead of the July 2019 Tenancy Act legislation when all rental properties will be required to meet a high standard of insulation,” Jim said.

Awarua Synergy general manager, Sumaria Beaton, reiterated that the Southland Real Estate property management team was proactive in providing great service. Awarua Synergy is the service provider for SWHT
and installs home insulation for the Trust.

“Their team members always ensure that we have safe access to tenanted properties, and complete the required Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (EECA) subsidy paperwork in a timely manner. This really makes our job a lot easier and builds a good working relationship,” said general manager Sumaria Beaton.

The 50% subsidy offered by SWHT and EECA on insulation costs for eligible rental properties ended in June 2018. There had been a significant increase in the number of rental properties insulated in the last 12 months to June compared with the previous two years.

More about the SWHT

  • The SWHT was formed in 2008 by the Southland Power Trust and Electricity Invercargill Limited.
  • Subsidised home assessments and insulation installations have since been delivered to more than 6,000 families across Southland.
  • The SWHT Vision:
    • a more energy efficient home
    • an improved living environment
    • improved well-being
    • better health
    • greater energy efficiency awareness

More about the Tenancy Act legislation

  • Under the Tenancy Act legislation, from 1 July 2019 all rental properties will be required to meet a high standard of insulation.
  • To help with this transition the Government introduced the Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes Rental initiative, which, with additional support from the Southland Warm Homes Trust, enabled Southland landlords to access a 50 percent subsidy for the cost of insulating eligible rental properties, up to 30 June 2018.

Invitation for photo opportunity

We invite you to join us in presenting the 2018 Southland Property Management Company of the Year Award over morning tea and for a short presentation:

Date:Wednesday 21st November 2018
Address:PowerNet, 251 Racecourse Road, Invercargill

For further information and comment, please contact:

Southland Warm Homes Trust, Greg Buzzard on 021 858 121 or

Or Awarua Synergy General Manager, Sumaria Beaton, on 021 408 751 or

SWHT 10 year anniversary

26 March 2018

L/R: Southland Warm Homes Trust Chair, Jim Hargest and Trust founder and past Chair, Neil Boniface.

Keeping People Warm for a Decade

A decade of keeping Southland and West Otago people warm was celebrated today (26 June) by the Southland Warm Homes Trust (SWHT).

Since its inception in 2008, thousands of Southland and West Otago homes have been insulated or retrofitted with the Trust’s financial support.

“We’re delighted to be celebrating this milestone in making Southland homes warmer and healthier,” says SWHT chair, Jim Hargest.

“Over the past decade, more than 6200 local homes have benefitted from subsidised insulation and heating solutions. Through its work, the Trust has made a real and positive impact on the health and well-being of our communities and that’s something we’re really proud of.”

Since it was first established, the Trust has received over $18 million of funding from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s (EECA) Healthy Homes scheme and third-party funding from local organisations.

“We’re very grateful for the successful and supportive local funding partnerships, particularly with Electricity Invercargill Ltd and The Power Company Ltd, but also with our local territorial authorities and other community funders,” Mr Hargest said.

“It’s really pleasing that the work of the SWHT represents a truly collaborative `Southland-wide’ effort. Many regional organisations have supported it and many people’s lives have been changed for the better.”

The SWHT was established in June 2008 by Electricity Invercargill Ltd and the Southland Electric Power Supply Consumer Trust as an umbrella group to drive a Southland-wide initiative to provide warm, insulated homes. The Trust’s vision was to ensure that Southlanders have more energy efficient homes, an improved living environment and well-being, better health and greater energy efficiency awareness. Today, the Trust’s partners include Awarua Synergy, which is contracted to install insulation and heating under the Trust’s programme.

“Although the funding structures have changed over time, our Trust’s vision of warmer, healthier homes endures. We’re looking forward to continuing this important contribution to Southland’s wellbeing into the future,” Mr Hargest said.

Funding under the EECA Healthy Homes Programme is targeted to those who benefit most from having their homes insulated—low-income households with high health needs, including families with children and the elderly.

Research has shown that for every $1 spent on insulation for a low-income family, there is a $6.70 return of investment, by way of reducing the number of people walking through hospital doors.

“We are looking forward to continuing this work with EECA and the Southern Community under the new four year insulation scheme recently announced by the Government, starting 1 July 2018.” More information on the Southland Warm Homes Trust is available on the PowerNet website: