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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.


Stable, long term, affordable housing in a good condition is the ideal for high livability and wellbeing outcomes. However, narratives and data gathered from Ruapehu communities indicate that access to housing appropriate to need is becoming increasingly difficult, and that these issues are affecting health, education, employment, and are also perceived to be contributing to social issues.

Community narratives indicate that high income earners from out of district, a strong tourism industry focus, holiday homes, and the national housing crisis, are pricing locals out of the rental housing and ownership markets. Narratives indicate that these issues are affecting the quality and stability of housing accessible to permanent residents and those seeking to move into the district for long term and seasonal employment.

Key themes

  • Low levels of home ownership
  • High proportion of short term stays and holiday homes affecting access to stable long term rental options
  • Increasing unaffordability for Ruapehu residents relative to local incomes (ownership and rental)
  • Tourism focus and seasonality affecting permanent residents
  • Lack of housing affecting employment
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