Ruapehu Whānau Transformation Plan: Housing Survey

The Ruapehu Whānau Transformation Plan (RWTP) was launched in July 2013. Over a period of 12 months, qualitative and quantitative evidence was collated. The extensive official statistics and rich local stories gathered provided a platform to scope localised solutions for whānau, iwi and the communities of Raetihi, Ohākune and Waiouru (the Ruapehu rohe).

RWTP has 23 solutions that sit across five inter-connected focus areas of Education, Employment, Housing, Health and Social. The 23 solutions were identified and confirmed as opportunities to positively transform the everyday lives of whānau.

In the Housing area two key opportunities for change were identified:

  • Increase available houses to rent
  • Increase % of healthy homes

One of the solutions under the Housing area was to conduct a Housing Needs survey. The report contains analysis of data from the 2013 census, and findings of the Survey with recommendations for a future Housing Action Plan.

Key Findings

Future aspirations for Whānau in the Ruapehu rohe are to:

  • Have warm homes
  • Own their own home

2013 Census shows that 55% of the Ruapehu district owned their homes, this is only slightly more than the Ruapehu rohe (of Raetihi, Ohākune and Waiouru) with 52% of respondents to the Housing Survey owning their homes. When asked about the household median income, of the 100 whānau who participated in the Housing Survey, 67% identified they were below the median income level.

Keeping homes warm, particularly in the winter is a major issue for many of the whānau in the community. Of the 101 homes surveyed, 38 percent didn’t have any form of insulation, 76 percent used a wood burner as the main source of heating but of these 15 percent of families struggled with affording wood and having adequate dry storage available.

While more immediate housing goals and aspirations still focus on making the home warm for the whānau or home ownership, there is also concern about home maintenance. Many whānau identified existing health and safety threats in the current stock of housing, in the Ruapehu rohe, for both owner-occupiers and tenant-occupiers, including damp or mould, no or old insulation, no smoke alarms, broken doors or windows, holes in the floors and walls, and exposed or old wiring.