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Provision and policy at the crossroads: NHC Five-Yearly Report.

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National Housing Commission, ,

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The National Housing Commission's final Five-Yearly Report is produced under unique circumstances, as the Commission is being dissolved following a Cabinet decision to modify how housing advice is delivered to the Minister of Housing.

This decision was met with regret by Commission members, who have been committed to their roles since the Commission’s inception in April 1974, dedicating substantial effort to enhancing housing in New Zealand. This final report shifts its focus from the traditional review of the past five years to current housing issues, informed by research findings. The Commission aims to contribute its extensive experience to future entities that will assume its roles, offering recommendations on policy direction and suggestions for managing housing advice, coordination, and research. The establishment of the Commission was initially driven by the need for independent, expert housing advice from individuals with diverse community experience. The Commission emphasises that this need will persist beyond its tenure, cautioning that future governments must address this requirement to maintain the quality of housing advice. In his 1983 report, Winiata observed the National Housing Commission’s lack of attention to Māori housing needs. The National Housing Commission published five-yearly reports, and its first 1978 report had no specific section on Māori housing while the second only briefly mentioned the issue of Māori land. The report itself states that New Zealand does not have the huge, insoluble problems of homelessness and substandard housing which confront other countries. New Zealand, it continues, has so far escaped the type and scale of housing crisis suffered in many other industrialised societies. The authors note that for the majority of New Zealanders the legacy of our forebears in providing a relatively adequate housing stock gives a better basis than many countries in meeting limited problems.

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