20 Degrees is a vision to ensure Bay of Plenty homes can achieve and sustain a healthy temperature of 20°C on a cold winter's night.

The programme is delivered by Sustainability Options, who visit the homes of those struggling with cold, damp and poor housing conditions. The team identify the issues preventing homes from reaching 20°C and seek to develop a plan to work with the whānau / families to address these.

To solve these problems, 20 Degrees works with other available programmes, connecting home occupants with any services or subsidies that may help improve their housing conditions and living situation. 20 Degrees then fills the gaps of any issues left unresolved, typically the minor repairs and maintenance, by fixing these at no or low cost to home occupants.

The focus of the programme is to support whānau/families in addressing repairs and maintenance issues such as; insulation, broken windows, draughts, leaks, curtains, heating, bathroom extraction, and behaviours that support a warm and dry home such as moisture management, ventilation, draught control, controlling heat losses and cost-effective heating.

A prerequisite for the programme is that participants must be open to engaging with the education component of 20 Degrees – workshops and DIY skill sessions that build the knowledge needed to keep homes healthy after these interventions are completed.

Through this it is hoped that homes will not only be healthy, resulting in less hospital admissions and reduced costs to the health system, but a shift in housing culture can be achieved; one where 20°C is the only acceptable minimum temperature within households.


1. To provide a pathway and platform for funding to reach critical housing performance needs

2. To improve the ability of community led initiatives to achieve healthy housing outcomes


1. Houses can achieve an internal temperature of 20 degrees, providing a healthier environment for all members of the community 

2. Communities can access support (information, guidance) and resources (interventions) through a connected network 

3. Community led initiatives can receive capability building (training, mentoring) and resources (interventions) through a connected network 

4. Healthy housing literacy is improved across the region 

5. Funded interventions can leverage existing innovative and effective programmes and initiatives


Meet the team behind 20 Degrees


Jo's mahi is to connect with the community in many different ways.  She spends time in the home assessing need, identifying repairs, and sharing home performance information to occupants - she loves showing wāhine how to use a power drill! Jo is an ultimate connector, creating relationships with many different agencies, organisations, hauora, trusts and whanau ora groups to extend the reach of the programme. All this AND she runs the healthy homes and DIY workshop programme, talk about a powerhouse! The programme consists of half day sessions all over the 20D role, where Jo shares experience and skills to put confidence back into the hearts and minds of the community about healthy homes. 


Phil is the fixer. He tries to come up with the solutions and supplies that will enable the team to fix the homes and help ensure they can operate at 20°C. He visits the homes referred to the programme, assesses what the home needs and what can be functionally done with the limited resources. He is also on the scrounge with how to... he doesn't understand, how not to. He tries to engage with other businesses to donate or repurpose seconds or damaged goods. His job is to deliver functional houses that are healthy and operate at 20°C.


Nik is kinda all over the place, one minute he's out there visiting and having conversations with whānau discussing ways we can help, the next minute he's presenting and telling stories to anyone who will listen, trying to influence them to help and looking for new ways to 'do more help.'  He's the talker and dreamer of the team, passionately and enthusiastically talking up what's happening, how things are going and what needs to happen next. Nik's mahi is to make sure that everyone who needs to know about the programme, is on board.


Lee has a background in public health, environmental sustainability, and a passion for helping others and fighting inequities. When she moved to New Zealand in 2017, she quickly noticed how cold our houses are here and is doing her best to change that. Since 2020, she has been helping build our repairs and maintenance programme up to fill this need in the Bay of Plenty. Now, Lee is the powerhouse behind our repairs and maintenance programme – it wouldn’t be what it is today without her.


Jacqui is the person that makes everything happen. If you have had repairs and maintenance carried out on your whare, good chance you have spoken with Jacqui. She follows through on all the home visits and assessments, stays in touch with the whānau the programme is helping, coordinates with the tradies who are helping with specialized work in the home, organizes our handyman team who work with the whānau on our repairs and maintenance activity, and ensures we have everything we need to help whānau. Jacqui is an absolute legend in our team with a compassionate heart, and a real desire to want to help improve housing and living conditions for all.


Mel is our programme support - she's a full-fledged boss! It's Mel who schedules our time, focuses our efforts and follows up with all those whānau we are seeking to help. She wants to make sure we are doing the best we can do. We are so happy to have Mel join our team, she has a bubbly, caring personality that makes her a great addition around the office and through the phone. As we receive over a 1000 visit requests each year, it's Mel who organises us all to make sure we get to see as many homes as possible.


Amir is one-third of our magnificent repairs and maintenance team, a hands-on brain behind the repairs and maintenance work that 20 degrees do. Amir has a deep desire to help as much as he possibly can, he loves to chat and to understand what is important to the whānau and to work out how he can do that 'little bit more' that will help them and help their home. Amir works closely with Willis, Ian and whānau, actually implementing the planned actions that have been agreed upon.


Willis is a key member of our talented repairs and maintenance team. He is out in the community ensuring we are walking the talk, working with whānau, talking them through tangible shifts that will save pūtea/money, and fixing wear and tear within the homes. Willis has a genuine and caring nature making him a great fit for the 20 Degrees mahi. 


Ian is our top handyman! While Willis, Amir, or Phil is having a kōrero, Ian will be getting straight into the mahi - repairing, changing, painting, anything we can do to help, Ian will be there doing it! He has a great sense of humour and compassionate outlook making him an invaluable member of our repairs and maintenance team.


When Caleb finished up at University with a Degree in analysis, and expressed his compassion to help others, but to do it with analysis, we thought to ourselves, 'awesome', we need someone who is prepared to stay back and crunch the numbers for us. We are so busy out and about doing the mahi, that we don't have time to fully consider - how do we really know we are making a difference? But it's really important to consider, are we really helping people with lower energy costs? Are we really improving the warmth of people's homes? Are we actually decreasing the moisture in homes? Caleb's job is to help us measure and gather this information, so that we know what we are trying to do - is working.


Alex is one of our full-time assessors. She is out visiting whānau, having kōrero about how habits around the whare can affect health, and delivering goods that assist a healthy home. When Alex isn’t visiting whānau, she is in the office, advocating for those she has seen, organising the assistance and materials they will need for their whare to reach 20 degrees. Alex has a huge heart and empathetic personality making her a great fit as an assessor.


Carol is a key assessor in the Rotorua area. Her nursing background makes her a compassionate and knowledgeable asset in the team. Carol visits whānau, and has conversations about health in their home, in particular when there are tamariki, elderly, or vulnerable. She follows through with whānau throughout their journey with us and advocates externally to help the whānau have access to everything they are eligible for.


Rachel assesses whare in the Rotorua area. She came into this mahi from a career in social work, making her an understanding, compassionate person to walk through a whare and discuss whānau concerns with. We are lucky to have Rachel aboard our team as she navigates obstacles to provide whānau as much support as accessible.


Julie is our follow-up queen! Julie is a joyful person with a lot of compassion for whānau we work with. Julie is in charge of ensuring we are doing our job as well as we can, and meeting whānau needs – actually making their home warmer and drier. This involves following up with whānau who have journeyed with us, and coordinating power savings efforts between power companies and whānau so we are doing as much as we can to help the energy efficiency of the whare.


Maya is half of our referrer engagement team connecting with anyone who may be in contact with whānau who would benefit from our visits. She is key in identifying whānau we can help, need to help, and want to help. You may get a call from Maya if your pēpi or young one has been in hospital struggling with their breathing. Maya is a positive, caring person and a great listener.


Jessie works closely alongside Maya, helping us with our initial engagement with families, touching base with them, introducing us, and making sure that everyone is comfortable with how we are trying to help. Jessie also keeps an eye out on existing whānau we have engaged with, following up and seeing how things are going. Jessie is passionate about helping people and supportive in her role with whānau.


Teri is our words guru. Speaking them, writing them - words are her domain. She talks to everyone in 20 Degrees and communicates it to the world. Through her Communications background, Teri ensures that everyone who wants to know more about our work can find it out. Teri’s passion for helping others derives from her ambition to improve the way our societies care for our world. This contributes to both her social and environmental sustainability efforts that place her well in the 20 Degrees team.


20 Degrees works across the Bay of Plenty, from Bowentown in the north, through to Waihau Bay in the East, Ruatāhuna in the south and Rotorua in the south west .


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