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Research creates change

The BRANZ House Condition Survey informs policy decisions that affect the living conditions of all New Zealanders.

Findings from past House Condition Surveys formed the basis for the healthy homes standards and the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act 2017.

The survey findings have also led to the addition of new questions in the New Zealand Census and a more collaborative approach to gathering housing quality data.

New questions in the 2018 Census

The 2018 Census was the first to ask everyone in New Zealand if their homes were damp or mouldy.

Prior to the 2015 House Condition Survey, a Stats NZ review of housing statistics found there was little information available on the physical attributes of the housing stock, including dwelling quality.

Following consultation, Stats NZ determined that collecting information on the aspects of housing quality that affect health was the highest priority. Mould and dampness were chosen as indicators as they require no specialist knowledge to identify or to answer the questions.

Download our House Condition Survey Census information sheet [PDF, 660KB] to learn more about how the consultation was conducted.

Collaborating to collect objective housing quality data

In 2018/19, BRANZ partnered with Stats NZ and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to trial a new approach to collecting information on housing conditions. The Pilot Housing Survey (PHS) was a nationwide housing assessment survey that involved a physical assessment undertaken by independent, BRANZ-trained building surveyors. Overall, 832 surveys were completed throughout New Zealand, with 505 owner-occupied and 327 non-owner-occupied houses assessed.

Households were recruited to take part in the PHS through the 2018 General Social Survey (GSS), a national survey conducted every 2 years by Stats NZ. Data from the PHS sample was linked to the GSS by Stats NZ. The result combines data on housing condition with household demographics, indicators of material hardship and wellbeing and healthy housing behaviours.

You can read details of the findings in two BRANZ study reports:

You can also find more information in the BRANZ fact sheets:

  • Pilot Housing Survey #1: Survey methodology

  • Pilot Housing Survey #2: House condition

  • Pilot Housing Survey #3: Insulation, ventilation, space heating and water heating

  • Pilot Housing Survey #4: Findings on housing condition and occupant wellbeing