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A place to call home? Declining home-ownership rates for Māori and Pacific peoples in New Zealand.

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New Zealand Population Review, 43, 3-34

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This paper details the ethnic disparities in home ownership rates in New Zealand, with a concentrated focus on the Māori and Pacific populations.

Between 1986 and 2013, the paper highlights a significant decline in home ownership rates for these groups compared to the total population, attributing less than half of Māori and Pacific peoples living in dwellings owned by their household in 2013. Goodyear critically examines various factors contributing to these disparities, including the differing age structures of these populations relative to the general population, and the impact of socioeconomic conditions such as income levels, employment rates, household composition, and urbanisation patterns. The paper underscores the importance of home ownership for wealth accumulation and intergenerational wealth transfer, noting the larger proportion of family wealth tied up in housing in New Zealand compared to other countries. It also discusses the health implications of housing tenure, with renting associated with greater residential mobility and adverse health outcomes due to lower housing quality and tenure insecurity. The historical context provided illustrates a reversal from the 1930s, where Māori had higher home ownership rates, to the present, highlighting the complexity of the housing tenure situation for Māori and Pacific peoples. The analysis is largely descriptive, based on data from the New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings, exploring tenure patterns over time and the consequences of declining home ownership among these ethnic groups. The paper calls for policy considerations to address these disparities, suggesting a human rights dimension to the issue and advocating for stronger legislation around tenure security and housing quality to benefit all renters, especially Māori and Pacific New Zealanders. The decline in home ownership among these groups is positioned within a broader discussion of rising house prices, economic downturns, and the changing rental market in New Zealand.

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