Chapter 6 Housing and Basic Services: Issues and Challenges for a New Urban A

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  • #20843

    Habitat III

    The UN Country Report Guideline is as follows:

    (Maximum of 4800 words inclusive of tables and illustrative material)
    Describe what your Central Government, Local Authorities (including the capital or major city) and other subnational governmental authorities, in partnership with stakeholders, have achieved, through the Habitat Agenda, in the areas listed below. Also describe the challenges experienced and lessons learnt in these areas, as well as future challenges and issues that could be addressed through a New Urban Agenda.
    35. Slum upgrading and prevention (540 words)
    36. Improving access to adequate housing (540 words)
    37. Ensuring sustainable access to safe drinking water (540 words)
    38. Ensuring sustainable access to basic sanitation and drainage (540 words)
    39. Improving access to clean domestic energy (540 words)
    40. Improving access to sustainable means of transport (540 words)
    41. Challenges experienced and lessons learnt in these areas (34-36) (780 words)
    42. Future challenges and issues in these areas (34-36) that could be addressed by a New Urban Agenda (780 words)

  • #22347



    I have attached a section 6.6 Improving access to sustainable means of transport for your feedback.



  • #22370


    Hi, I upload a draft for section 6.5 Improving access to clean domestic energy, for comment. Cheers, Kimberley

  • #22406


    Hi, please find attached a draft for section 6.1 Slum/sub-standard housing upgrading and prevention, for comment. Cheers, Kimberley

  • #22408


    Feedback on Section 6.6 Improving access to sustainable means of transport

    It would be useful to revise this statement: “no single study has been conducted to explore travel patterns and demand of Māori communities in New Zealand” – to discuss ‘travel disadvantage’ found in a qualitative study of Māori participants in Auckland (Raerino et al, 2013). While it is not a quantitative capture of travel patterns, it raises important differential cultural issues about demand.

    Raerino, K., Macmillan, Alex K., & Jones, Rhys G. (2013). Indigenous Māori perspectives on urban transport patterns linked to health and wellbeing. Health and Place, 23, 54-62.

  • #22424


    6.3. Ensuring sustainable access to safe drinking water – Draft submitted by Kimberley O’Sullivan

    Please reply with general comments and feedback to this draft. You can also provide specific comments and feedback as track changes to the word document and re-attach as a response below.

    New Zealand has plentiful supplies of freshwater relative to other countries, however environmental degradation particularly due to the intensification of dairy production and future local impacts of climate change present increasing risks to the sustainability of safe drinking water supplies. The number of cases of water-borne disease in New Zealand has been estimated at between 18,000 and 34,000 annually.

    Since the introduction of the Resource Management Act 1991, pollution from point source discharges has been reduced by Councils under a devolved governance model, however diffuse pollution from stormwater and industry, particularly dairying, remains problematic. Currently, the Government is consulting on proposed changes to fresh water governance, with the stated aims of improving fresh water management to deliver better environmental and economic outcomes, and specifically for Maori, to improve iwi/hapu participation in fresh water governance and management.

    Territorial authorities are responsible for managing land uses under the Resource Management Act, and generally provide drinking water. Regional Councils are tasked with granting water and discharge permits, and for allowing other activities that may affect registered drinking water supplies, in accordance with the National Environmental Standards introduced by the previous Labour-led government the under the Sustainable Water Programme of Action. The current Government postponed compliance with these Standards progressively so that large suppliers were required to meet Standards from 1 July 2012, through to neighbourhood suppliers serving 25-100 people that will be required to meet the Standards from 1 July 2016. Rural agricultural drinking water supplies or those serving less than 25 people or 6000 person-days will currently not be required to meet the Standards. Around 8% of households using their own water supply, are also not required to meet the Standards, although the Ministry of Health provides some advice on how to ensure rain-tank supplies are clean and safe.

    In the 2013-2014 year the Ministry of Health reported that overall, 79.0% of New Zealanders were supplied with drinking water that met all of the bacteriological, protozoal, and chemical Standards for drinking water quality. This varies significantly with the size of zones, with supplies in large zones serving over 10,000 people (78% of total people) achieving 99.2% compliance with bacteriological standards and 89.7% achievement with protozoal standards, while small zones serving between 101 and 500 people (2% of total people) achieving 71.8% compliance with bacterial and 23.5% protozoal standards. Overall, in terms of supply population, compliance with chemical standards is highest at 95.3%, followed by bacteriological (96.7%) and protozoal standards (79.2%).

    Current and future challenges for the New Urban Agenda:
    • Improving standards for intensive dairying and monitoring contamination of drinking water sources with associated run-off products such as nitrates
    • Improving access to clean and safe drinking water in rural communities
    • Managing water resources under future constraints due to climate change

  • #22426


    6.4. Ensuring sustainable access to basic sanitation and drainage – Draft submitted by Kimberley O’Sullivan

    Please reply with general comments and feedback to this draft. You can also provide specific comments and feedback as track changes to the word document and re-attach as a response below.

    Water management in New Zealand overall is determined by the Resource Management Act 1991 which governs land management and water quality, with different central government departments playing a role in enforcing legislation. Local government, in the form of territorial authorities and regional councils, is tasked with delivering water services and managing wastewater and sewerage networks and discharges. New Zealand shares joint standards on plumbing and drainage with Australia, that specify requirements for sanitary plumbing and drainage to sewers or common effluent systems, or as is still common for around 20% of New Zealand homes, on-site wastewater management systems. Under the Building Act 2004, councils are responsible for ensuring that buildings are sanitary, where buildings are deemed insanitary if adequate potable water is not available.

    While access to basic sanitation and drainage for networked houses is comparatively good, in some situations population inequality is reflected. For example, damage from significant earthquakes in Christchurch, particularly the magnitude 6.3 earthquake centred under the city on the 22 Feburary 2011, caused the most impact in the eastern suburbs. Due to a higher concentration of Maori living in these more economically deprived areas, in the weeks following the disaster, Maori people were more affected by reduced access to basic necessities including sanitation and portable sanitiation facilities. The experience of Maori volunteers and service providers in Christchurch suggest means for improving integration of Maori capacity in disaster preparedness planning, which is likely to be particularly relevant in managing future climate change impacts.

    Future climate change is expected to create significant challenges for maintaining increasing quality standards being set for New Zealand’s water, wastewater, and stormwater services, particularly with increasing extreme weather events, and drought, or conversely rainfall, predictions in some areas of the country. Due to a combination of socioeconomic, demographic, and geographic factors, Maori and Pasific face increased risk of greater impacts of climate change, compared to NZ European people.

    In several areas of New Zealand, councils are facing costly water infrastructure renewal. Additionally, demographics are shifting with growth forecasts set to create other challenges for infrastructure costs and management as forecasts predict population growth for urban areas, while rural areas are predicted to experience flat or declining populations. In response to limited knowledge about the current state of water infrastructure and management, Local Government New Zealand has coordinated a stock-take with local councils and released a position paper in September 2015. Concurrently, central Government’s consultation on freshwater management will also determine future issues and responses in the water, wastewater, and stormwater sectors.

    Current and future challenges for the New Urban Agenda:
    • Continuing to ensure standards for basic sanitation and drainage particularly for provincial and rural populations
    • Maintaining sanitation and drainage services under increased growth trends within urban centres
    • Monitoring and reducing the impacts of industry on residential sanitation and drainage
    • Managing the risks of increased severe rainfall effects due to climate change on the potential for stormwater and wastewater to contaminate drinking water supplies
    • Increasing iwi/hapu involvement with water governance and management
    • Increasing iwi/hapu autonomy and involvement in Civil Defence emergency situations

  • #22459


    6.1. Slum/sub-standard housing upgrading and prevention – by Alan Johnson

    Please reply with general comments and feedback to this draft. You can also provide specific comments and feedback as track changes to the word document and re-attach as a response below.

    New Zealand’s decaying social housing
    Social housing makes up less than 5% of New Zealand’s total housing stock of almost 1.8 million dwellings. The biggest social housing provider is the state owned Housing New Zealand Corporation which in 2015 managed just over 67,000 units of which 64,000 were owned and the remainder leased. These dwellings are commonly known as state houses. In addition 57 local councils own a further 12,000 units most of which are allocated to older people. The exact number owned by NGO’s such as housing trusts and social service and welfare organisations is not known but is estimated to be around 4000 units. A total of approximately 83,000 units.
    The condition and state of repair of social housing has come under public scrutiny recently with the release of a coroner’s report into the sudden death in 2014 of a two year who lived in a Housing New Zealand house in South Auckland. The coroner found that ‘it is entirely possible that the condition of the house had contributed to the pneumonia- like illness’ that led to the child’s death.
    Housing New Zealand and the government face a number of problems in maintaining the stock of state housing. This stock has been built up progressively since the late 1930’s with around one third of the current stock was constructed before 1960 and two thirds before 1980. The majority of the stock is of light timber framed construction with timber or sheet cladding so present considerable maintenance challenges.
    A further problem exits around the location and configuration of the state housing stock. Population growth and housing demand are not evenly spread throughout New Zealand with the result that demand for social housing does not entirely match the location of this stock.
    There is also a mismatch between the stock of houses and the households needing them and in particular an oversupply of three bedroom dwellings and undersupply of one and two bedroom units.
    These problems mean that Housing New Zealand and the government need to reconfigure the state housing stock which in turn can mean that there is little point maintaining housing which is effectively redundant. This has been one of the major influences in the way the state housing portfolio has been managed and has contributed to what can clearly be seen in some towns and cities as the poor maintenance of state housing.
    Some local councils also have legacies of poor maintenance which are mainly due to an absence of central government subsidies. On at least one occasion recently this poor maintenance and under-investment has led to the sell-off of stock. The legacy of inadequate maintenance on Wellington City Council’s social housing was acknowledged by government with over $220 million in grants for a refurbishment programme between 2008 and 2016.
    It is however by no means clear that Housing New Zealand has ever had a clear asset management plan for its stock of 64,000 houses. Neither is it clear that successive governments have provided sufficient budgets to ensure that this stock can be adequately maintained, refurbished and re-developed. In its 2013/14 annual report housing New Zealand reported that it had undertaken a comprehensive condition survey of its stock to better inform its asset management programme so presumably such information did not exist previously. In March 2015 the Deputy Prime Minister acknowledged that the cost of the deferred maintenance of Housing New Zealand’s housing stock could be as much as $1.2 billion.

  • #22537


    6.1. Slum/sub-standard housing upgrading and prevention – by Manfredo Manfredini

    Please reply with general comments and feedback to this draft. You can also provide specific comments and feedback as track changes to the word document and re-attach as a response below.

    New Zealand does not have discrete urban areas with the typical multidimensional slum issues, however it has severely deprived settlements of different types and sizes, where residents have inadequate access to primary infrastructure and housing. Most of them present severe housing deprivation with variable combinations of relevant impairing conditions of overcrowding, homelessness, lack of privacy and control, tenure insecurity and use of unsuitable structures. The dynamics of these problematic environments have been linked to those of social polarisation and the widening social and economic distance between the different groups correlated to the consolidation of their spatial segregation. This is substantive in particular areas of the historical periphery of major cities like Auckland and Wellington with high levels of socioeconomic deprivation. In these places the diffused inadequate dwellings aggravate their overall living conditions, distinctly affecting some low-income groups of ethnic minorities, particularly Pacific People
    The most acute cases of this severe housing crisis can be found in the Auckland region, where a steadily growing urban area with more than 1.5 million people hosts more than a third of the New Zealand population. Its occurrence is typically urban, but it includes some emerging periurban epiphenomena in the form of semi-structured settlements, such as formal and informal campgrounds. The magnitude of the whole phenomenon is very difficult to determine due to its high informality and volatility, but also because of the variability of definitions and measurement standards. Despite the fact that a thorough investigation has yet to be conducted, it is considered to involve a large portion of the estimated 0.8 percent of the country’s population experiencing housing deprivation in various forms.
    Crowding is the predominant of these adverse conditions and recently showed a slight overall decline in the country (in 2006-2013 it fell from 10.4 to 10.1 percent of the total population living in households). The decline, however, is not homogeneous, since in disadvantaged areas of Auckland and post-earthquake Canterbury figures have sensibly increased and confirm the above-mentioned growing spatial polarisation trend. Concentrations of the most severely affected was found in south Auckland, where suburbs like Otara and Mangere-Harania have more than 40 percent of people living in crowded households and half of them in severely crowded ones. Strong correlations were found between the geographic and social variation of this phenomenon. National ethnic differences range from approximately 4 percent among people of European descent to 38 percent among Pacific peoples, and concentration of occurrences in vulnerable individual and household cohorts, such as children, young adults, and sole-parent families.

    Irregular collective dwelling settlements with unsuitable shelter, such as motor camps, improvised and mobile dwellings are also an emerging problem. Their magnitude is the most difficult to estimate, since it is intrinsically transient in nature (e.g. whilst the 2013 census counted only 27 people nationwide, in 2011 ‘rough sleeping’ in Auckland city centre was officially estimated affecting between 160 and 320 individuals ). However, an indication emerges from the comparison between the last two census datasets that show an increase in excess of 82 percent in the number of people in dwellings in motor camps. The living conditions of the increasing number of people permanently residing in campgrounds and bush camps are also very uncertain, yet generally characterised by poor and extremely poor quality shelters, almost absent of security of tenure, and often accompanied by poverty, social exclusion and vulnerability.

    The conditions of these disadvantaged districts and marginal settlements have been recently addressed by booth central and local governments with dedicated studies, such as the ones triggered by the Auckland Housing Research Plan, regeneration policies, such as the Auckland Southern Initiative, and intervention, such as the Tamaki Regeneration Programme; all of which aiming to improve the overall social and physical and environments, focusing on housing, infrastructures and health. Their eventual results, however, are very difficult to predict since, as largely demonstrated by international literature, their dynamics are directly correlated to the evolution of general socioeconomic and political frameworks.

  • #22613


    6.2. Improving access to adequte housing – by Manfredo Manfredini

    Please reply with general comments and feedback to this draft. You can also provide specific comments and feedback as track changes to the word document and re-attach as a response below.

    Over the last decade, New Zealand housing access has been progressively affected by problems concerning availability, affordability, suitability, performance and crowding. These issues have been widely recognised as creating difficulties for a large part of the population and have severely affected many low-income households living in major cities (Auckland Council, 2012; Commission, 2010; New Zealand Productivity Commission, 2012; Salvation Army, 2016). Their uneven distribution throughout the country has been found directly correlated both to the overall urban/rural socioeconomic polarisation and the unbalanced urban growth. Indeed, with only the largest cities expanding (Statistics New Zealand, 2013, 2014), urban Auckland stands out as the most prominent example with acute, consolidated and multidimensional problems of adequate housing access (Auckland Council, 2012).
    Auckland’s basic insufficient availability of dwellings has been recently aggravated by a supply that does not match the demand of its growing population (between the last two censuses its population grew by 8.5 percent whilst the number of dwellings only 7.6 (Auckland Council, 2014b; Statistics New Zealand, 2015c). This has triggered a strong house price inflation that has become the most salient factor of the current acute crisis and has been recognised as one of the main financial risks to the New Zealand economy (OECD, 2015, pp. 2, 11-12; Reserve Bank of New Zealand, 2015, pp. 25-29). Indeed, in 2015 the city’s severe housing unaffordability has registered one of the world’s worst price-to-income ratios (in 2015 it was ranked the fourth least affordable worldwide (12th Annual Demographia International, 2016, pp. 9-20) and had an annual house price increase rate at over 27 percent (Fitch Ratings, 2016, p. 8; Reserve Bank of New Zealand, 2015, p. 8). During the same period, its rental prices have also experienced an exorbitant growth that, exceeding 10 percent (with the annual inflation rate at 0.1), contributed to their divergence from the national average (increased by 4.2 percent) and made rates 30 percent more expensive than in the rest of the country (Statistics New Zealand, 2015a). Some key economic consequences are a fall in the rate of home-ownership an upsurge in mortgage debt. Ownership has particularly decreased in Auckland, where a steady decline over the last two decades has mainly affected the groups that are less affluent and already have the lowest rates, such as Pacific people (Auckland Council, 2014a; Goodyear & Fabian, 2014, pp. 34-48; Statistics New Zealand, 2014). Mortgage debt has reached an unprecedented value that, after more than doubling over the last ten years (Adam, 2015), is now exceeding four fifths of the massive debt of New Zealand households (with the household debt-to-income multiples value reaching around 160 percent of household disposable income in 2015 (Reserve Bank of New Zealand, 2015, p. 28)).
    Housing unaffordability has critically exacerbated existing housing deprivation issues concerning tenure insecurity, overcrowding, and the use of unsuitable dwelling spaces. Tenure insecurity (Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, Auckland Council, & Auckland Co¬design Lab, 2014), besides the financial risk of highly indebted households, is correlated to the limited provisions of social housing (in 2015, within a process of progressive privatisation, it accommodated approximately 5 percent of the population (“Social Housing Reform (Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Amendment) Act 2013,” 2013)) and a legal framework with one of the world’s most unfavourable renting regulations (New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, 2014), particularly in regards to tenancy termination (almost unconditional and on short notice). Suitability and habitability of existing stock is also a main concern and, together with overcrowding (see #6.1) and limited spatial flexibility of house types to accommodate changing household needs (Auckland Council, 2012, Auckland’s housing; Jeram, 2014), include important building technology issues regarding hygrothermal and energy performances (Buckett, Jones, & Marston, 2011; Leardini, Manfredini, & Callau, 2015). Cold and damp dwellings, reportedly constituting half of the New Zealand stock (Statistics New Zealand, 2015b), have been found strongly correlated to the high incidence of fuel poverty, which concerns about one fourth of New Zealand households, and to the ever increasing health risk of respiratory illnesses and serious diseases like rheumatic fever (Auckland Council, 2012; Howden-Chapman et al., 2012).
    Efforts by both central government and local authorities to address these problems with dedicated policies and incentives has correspondently increased (Bridges, 2013; “Building Act, as at 01 March 2016,” 2004; Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, 2013; Johnson, 2013; Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment; Ministry of Social Development; New Zealand Productivity Commission, 2012; “The Social Housing Reform (Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Amendment) Act,” 2013), yet, to date, it has not succeeded in effectively offsetting them (Parker, 2015; Salvation Army, 2016).

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