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Conclusion

While some housing quality information is available in New Zealand, it is very limited in coverage and detail. Before any further steps are taken to improve the collection of information about housing quality there should be agreement as to how housing quality should be defined and what measurement is needed, and clarification of the purpose of data collection.

An understanding of the user requirements for housing quality data is vital before any programme for collecting housing quality is established, as this will shape the way the programme develops.

We have included questions for agencies to consider re their data needs around housing quality and outlined possibilities for improved data collection.

We recommend that the next step is a robust discussion as to which approach should be followed and some agreement on the eventual use of the data on housing quality.

An agreed and coordinated plan would be the most efficient way to develop information on housing quality in New Zealand. This may include an evaluation and adoption of one approach (such as linking a BRANZ survey with a household survey) or of a combination of approaches (a separate survey, as well as using administrative data).

Questions for data-collection agencies to consider

What definition of housing quality should New Zealand use?

What should we use information about housing quality for? Examples include to: 

  • measure the quality of housing stock in order to develop effective housing policy
  • set targets for improving New Zealand's housing stock and to evaluate progress
  • measure the success of government interventions such as the insulation subsidy
  • target interventions to particular areas and population groups
  • analyse how housing quality affects health and other outcomes.

What approach do you think would be most effective in order to achieve these aims?

Are there other possible approaches to measuring housing quality that have not been included here? If so, what are these approaches?

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