Video: Realities of Renting in New Zealand Cities

We held a seminar with speakers Karen Witten, Lucy Telfar Barnard and Penelope Carroll. Is there life after home ownership in New Zealand? What will that look like for the growing number of people who can’t afford to buy their own homes – generation rent? Can private landlords, who provide the majority of rental housing, be relied on to meet the demand responsibly? Watch the video.

Karen Witten, Lucy Telfar Barnard and Penelope Carroll
Realities of Renting in New Zealand Cities

As home ownership moves beyond the reach of a growing number of New Zealand households, renting will become a long-term, possibly permanent, proposition. The rental housing system relies heavily on the provision of stock by private investors, based both here and overseas. To ensure renting is a viable alternative to home ownership, private landlords will need to fulfill their responsibilities, as outlined under the Residential Tenancies Act.

The speakers will present findings from a comprehensive study into the private rental housing sector in four New Zealand cities – Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. The study, funded by BRANZ, explores the drivers of investment and relationships between tenants and landlords.

Presentation: Lucy Telfar Barnard, Karen Witten, Penelope Carroll. Realities of Renting in NZ Cities, pdf



Karen Witten is a geographer and Professor of Public Health at Massey University. She is a member of the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities and was a lead researcher in the Resilient Urban Futures programme, on residential choice and community formation. Her research investigates how neighbourhood design and infrastructure influences social relationships, transport choices and the wellbeing of residents.

Penelope Carroll is a social science researcher with particular research interests in the well-being of children and young people in urban environments and housing. A public health researcher at Massey University, she has a strong commitment to social justice.

Lucy Telfar Barnard is an epidemiologist and Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington. Her research centres on housing quality, but extends to respiratory disease, the effects of cold weather on health, and the use of administrative data in environmental health research. She is currently leading He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme’s Rental Warrant of Fitness study.

This seminar took place on Wednesday 21 March 2018 at City Gallery, Wellington.

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