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Tell Us Your Housing Story

Te Kāhui Tika Tangata, the Human Rights Commission, says its new housing inquiry website, “He Kāinga Rawaka, A Decent Home” ( can help put human rights at the centre of government and private sector responses to the housing crisis.

"As our housing inquiry has progressed, we’ve heard some upsetting stories from people. There’s been a common thread, they don’t want others to relive what they have been through,” says Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt.

“Now, we hope to hear from many more people through our website, where people can submit their experiences and solutions for housing,” says Hunt.

The Commission is asking for people’s experiences generally and in the three topic areas of emergency and transitional housing, rental conditions, and the cultural adequacy of housing. The experiences that people share will inform the housing inquiry’s reports and findings.

Informing about human rights and obligations

“We want to accelerate calls for an accountability mechanism for housing and to put the right to a decent home, grounded on Te Tiriti o Waitangi, at the centre of government and private sector housing plans,” says Hunt.

The right to a decent home includes international human rights obligations that local and central government, and the private sector, must work together to fulfill. Yet very often, these duty-bearers are not aware of their obligations.

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“The public also are not always aware of the human right to a decent home, so the website can help people learn about this fundamental right that we all have,” says Hunt.

Resources for communities to advocate for change

“We are now seeing the potential for communities and groups to use the human right to a decent home as a tool for change in our housing system.

“Whether it is calling on a local council to put the human right to a decent home at the centre of local housing policy, or organising a community discussion, it is important people get involved.

“Collectively we need to find our way out of this housing crisis and prevent a future one,” says Hunt.

The website provides some basic tools – posters and an advocacy guide – to assist groups who might want to advocate for their human right to a decent home grounded on Te Tiriti o Waitangi.


· People can share their stories anonymously and fill in as much detail as they like.

· The Commission is receiving experiences of emergency and transitional housing until the end of October. It will issue its findings and recommendations in mid-November.

· The Commission is receiving experiences of the rental system and cultural adequacy until late November. A closing date will be announced via the housing inquiry newsletter (visit to sign-up).

· The website includes information about the Commission’s Measuring Progress initiative, with data on affordability, accessibility and habitability. It also provides the Commission’s Framework Guidelines on the Right to a Decent Home and its Strengthening Accountability and Participation in the Housing System report.

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