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The New Zealand Private Rental Sector

Researchers Professor Karen Witten and Dr Penelope Carroll present their research on landlords' and tenants' experiences of private rental housing in New Zealand.


Around 34 per cent of New Zealand households rent their homes and 85 per cent of these rent within the private rental sector. Compared to owner occupied housing, private rental housing is typically in poorer condition. Recent amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act and Healthy Homes legislation aim to improve the condition of rental properties and protect tenant health and wellbeing.

This presentation will report the findings of research conducted in 2021, and funded by BRANZ, that investigated tenants’ and landlords’ experiences of the private rental sector.

The survey of 812 tenants and 400 landlords and follow up interviews with a subset of both tenants and landlords, replicated a similar study conducted in 2015/2016. Changes in responses between 2015/2016 and 2021 will be highlighted.

We will discuss tenants’ and landlords’ diverse pathways into and out of the rental sector, interactions between tenants and landlords around tenancies and maintenance, responses to recent regulatory changes, and future housing plans.


Karen Witten

Karen is a geographer and Professor of Public Health at Massey University.

Her research focuses on neighbourhood design and how housing, transport and amenity access influence the everyday mobility, health and wellbeing of residents.

Her work is interdisciplinary and has had a particular focus on the wellbeing of children and people with disabilities.

Penelope Carroll

Penelope is a Public Health Researcher at Massey University.

Her work is interdisciplinary with a current focus on the wellbeing of disabled people and ableism.

Previous research includes co-design of urban space with young people, ableism, perceptions of medium density and the private rental sector.

Date Wednesday, 22 March 2023
Time 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Audience Public
Event Category Health Sciences
Event Type Seminar
DepartmentPublic Health (Wellington)
LocationAdam Auditorium, City Gallery, 101 Wakefield Street, Wellington
Contact NameLibby Grant
Contact Phone027 221 9354

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