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This stocktake report was commissioned by the Minister of Housing and Urban Development the Hon Phil Twyford in November 2017. Its main purpose is to provide the New Zealand public with a broad overview of the current state of housing markets and the housing system in New Zealand. This overview takes the form of a series of brief reviews of various housing outcomes and policy areas and backs these with extensive data and additional references.

The brevity of this overview alongside the complexity of the topics it grapples with means that this stocktake is high level and intentionally so. Such a perspective has allowed the authors to identify the key issues facing New Zealand in the housing and social policy spaces. However, although the project brief was to produce a report which is quite descriptive and avoids commenting on policy, this direction has proved difficult to follow completely. This is in part because many of the outcomes identified here are a consequence of policy – the high levels of children’s hospitalisations as a result of poor quality housing is one such example.

The approach taken here is to limit commentary on policy to just the identification of areas where either additional work should be done or where a re-focus might be useful.

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