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Public and private debt: links between debt types for all New Zealanders

Public debt Household finance Household debt New Zealand

Debt takes many forms in an established financial system. This paper focuses on two categories of debt based on who the debt is owed to - public debt (debt owed to the government) and private debt (debt owed to non-government lenders).

Discussions of debt are often limited to only one of these types depending on the context. However, many New Zealanders will owe both types of debt and will experience interactions between them – for example, making repayments of one type of debt affects their ability to afford repayments of the other. It follows that a complete picture of individuals’ experience of debt requires us to consider both their public and private debt.

This report provides a national picture of the links between public and private debt.

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