Rural households face difficulties in accessing essential services for wastewater disposal, drinking water and energy supply. These difficulties are particularly acute in remote areas with high deprivation.
This research found that a number of factors constrain rural households' access to adequate services, including high costs of installing on-site services, low household incomes, insufficient household knowledge about and motivation to maintain on-site systems, an acceptance of inadequate services, difficulties in accessing trades people, and limited financial resources for development of new reticulation. Government support for essential services exists and has provided significant assistance, but interviewees suggested that its effectiveness has been compromised by an insufficient overall level of funding, insufficient attention to educating and motivating householders to undertake maintenance of on-site systems, an approach focusing more on individual houses than on communities, and a lack of awareness of the support among potential recipients. The study recommends several areas for policy development.
The purpose of this study is to examine infrastructural issues facing sub-standard housing in NECBOP. This study is intended to provide a better evidence-base from which Housing New Zealand can improve its delivery of the RHP, improve coordination with other relevant agencies, and provide advice to Cabinet on the long term role of government in alleviating sub-standard housing. The specific aims of this work are to:
- develop an overview of the means of sewage disposal, supply of drinking water, and provision of energy that are used in the NECBOP area
- find out what factors present barriers to adequate sewage disposal, drinking water and energy in NECBOP
- determine how well existing government policies and practices are meeting needs for the supply and maintenance of essential services to low income households in NECBOP
- identify options for how HNZC support for the supply and maintenance of essential services to low income households in NECBOP could be provided more effectively.
The research method had two components.
- A review of existing documentation on the status of essential services in NECBOP and the assistance available.
- Interviews with 32 key informants, including staff from central government agencies that provide assistance for essential services, NECBOP district council staff, housing managers from iwi organisations, and independent technical experts.