Ministry Statements & Speeches:
Aotearoa New Zealand thanks the former Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Leilani Farha, for her report on her visit to New Zealand in February 2020. We would also take this opportunity to commend her for her work over the term of her mandate to improve housing rights globally. We would like to thank the current Special Rapporteur, Balakrishnan Rajagopal, for presenting the report to the Human Rights Council today.
We recognise the many concerns raised in the Special Rapporteur’s report, and share her view that the housing crisis facing Aotearoa New Zealand must be addressed urgently, and in a way that is enduring. This is a central priority for the New Zealand Government.
The Special Rapporteur’s visit was hosted in the context of an expanding government work programme on housing, and active engagement between the Government and Māori, civil society, experts, community housing providers and others.
Aotearoa New Zealand welcomes the report and its recommendations. We are considering carefully the report’s specific recommendations in the context of the actions that we already have underway, many of which are already aligned with the report.
The New Zealand Government, through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga — Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, is currently consulting with New Zealanders on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development. This will be centred on a vision that “Everyone in Aotearoa lives in a healthy, secure and affordable home that meets their needs, within a thriving, inclusive and sustainable community”.
The Government Policy Statement will set a long-term strategic direction to guide not only government policy and investment, but the efforts of everyone who contributes to the future of housing in our country.
This vision recognises that everyone has a right to an adequate home, and speaks to the broader view of housing adequacy highlighted in the Special Rapporteur’s report. That is, it is not just about the physical building but also encompasses other essential elements of the right to an adequate standard of living.
Alongside this, we are developing a new Māori Housing Strategy that will review and reset the long-term systemic changes needed to address the causes of poor and inadequate housing for Māori.
The consultation and engagement on the Government Policy Statement, on the Māori Housing Strategy, and on the many work programmes we are undertaking, provides an opportunity to continue to explore the specific recommendations of the Special Rapporteur.
We thank Leilani Farha for her valuable contribution to Aotearoa New Zealand’s future.
New Zealand has also provided a written response to the Special Rapporteur’s report, which is available on UN documents.