Video transcript: Leading New Zealand’s approach to housing and urban development

A transcript for a video about our report, Leading New Zealand’s approach to housing and urban development.

Title: Leading New Zealand’s approach to housing and urban development

Charles Fitzgerald (Senior Performance Auditor):

Adequate and affordable housing contributes to social and economic well-being. However, as we all know, our country is facing significant housing and urban development challenges. These include increasing costs of homeownership and rent, long waitlists for public housing, and significant disparities in home ownership between different ethnic groups.

Inadequate and unaffordable housing leads to poor health, education, economic, and social outcomes. These affect some communities more than others – for example, Māori and Pasifika, people with disabilities, unemployed people, and one-parent families.

That’s why good leadership of our housing and urban development system is important to address these underlying challenges.

There are many different organisations and groups involved in the housing and urban development system. It also takes a long time to do anything. For example, building more homes involves making land available, changing district plans, putting supporting infrastructure in place, seeking and giving building and resource consent, and, finally, building the actual houses and communities.

So, to get the system working well for everyone, we need strong leadership and good co-ordination across a range of public and private organisations. In 2018, the Government set up the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (or, MHUD) to do this. Its role is to bring these different groups together to get them working towards a shared purpose, to provide advice, and to understand how well the system is working, and what needs to be done to fix it.

Since 2018, the Ministry has made some significant achievements. With others, the Ministry has prepared a shared vision and outcomes, a clear strategy, and implementation plans for improving the performance of the system. The Ministry has also improved performance and monitoring information, put in place governance arrangements that will help to co-ordinate and build alignment over time, and built its own capabilities to lead the system.

So, what needs to happen next?

The Ministry now needs to shift its focus to leading the delivery of its strategies and improving the system’s performance. This shift is challenging because although the Ministry has a mandate to lead the system, it cannot tell other groups and organisations what to do. The Ministry can only use its influence to achieve change in the system.

We have made three recommendations to support the Ministry in improving its ability to influence the system. The recommendations involve the Ministry continuing to improve its understanding of the current and predicted performance of the system, strengthening system governance, and continuing to ensure that it has the right capability and capacity to lead the system.  

Title: Read our report at

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