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A story of how a national housing crisis is playing out in rural New Zealand, in a district with a high presence of holiday homes, seasonal leases and short term stays to meet the demands of the tourism market.


Rental demand was high and supply was low in all areas. Rental homes were often cold, damp, and poor quality. Some houses were used for short term tourist accommodation or left empty for various reasons. Rent was unaffordable and overcrowding was a concern. Housing issues in Ruapehu District include high rent, low availability, social housing impact, and rising house prices. New houses are being built in some areas, but some worry about losing the town's charm.

Key themes

  • High rental demand, low supply
  • Cold, damp, poor quality homes
  • Some houses for tourists or empty
  • Unaffordable rent, overcrowding
  • Housing issues: rent, availability, social housing, house prices
  • New houses being built, town charm at risk
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