Reasserting the ‘social’ in social rented housing: politics, housing policy and housing reforms in New Zealand


After a decade of wide‐ranging social welfare reforms in New Zealand, that have resulted in a considerable restructuring of the role of the state in housing provision, the introduction of new housing legislation in 2000 marked a significant attempt to reassert the notion of social provision. This article examines the manner in which housing policy has recast the role of social rented housing in New Zealand and sets out the political context and implications of the new legislation in which housing policy is being pursued. It is argued that while the notion of social provision has been revived, social rented housing is still constructed in terms of a residual model of provision in the political discourses of reform.