As New Zealand's history has demonstrated, the current concerns surrounding housing quality is no new phenomena. With the substandard housing in New Zealand at present resulting from poor regulation of housing standards and lack of maintenance, it is prevalent to see how housing is a key material determinant of an individual's health and wellbeing (Gillespie-Bennett, Keall, Howden-Chapman, & Baker, 2013). However, there is an abundant amount of evidence that concludes that the New Zealand housing market has failed to deliver both quantity and quality of housing needs (Howden-Chapman, Baker, & Bierre, 2013, p38). In this essay, I aim to analyse the housing quality issue in New Zealand and explore the implications this has on people's health and wellbeing. In order to address these implications, I will first explore the term 'quality' in terms of housing and what is justified as 'adequate' housing. Succeeding this clarification, I will explore the health implications this imposes on the New Zealand population. I will additionally look at who is most significantly affected by housing quality. This will incorporate theories such as over-crowding and fuel poverty to best explain the repercussions involved. Conclusively this will lead to exploring policy commitments that are presently needed to address the housing quality issues, and what former schemes have been implemented. .
The Need to Measure Housing Quality .
It is estimated that people in the developed world spend around 90% of their lives indoors (Gillespie-Bennett et al., 2013), the majority of this time is spent within their home. Therefore, the issue of housing quality and the growing concerns surrounding high housing costs is fast becoming a pressing issue as it affects a large proportion of the New Zealand population. The measuring of housing quality is important because if imposes a major determinant of the population's physical and mental health, but also the flow-on effects into other areas of the public sphere such as education, paid work, and economy (Statistics New Zealand, 2015).