Housing Report 1988

New Zealand

Provision and Policy at the Crossroads

The National Housing Commission

The National Housing Commission is to be disestablished from 31 March 1988 by the Finance Act 1987. It was set up in 1972 as an independent statutory body, to investigate, comment on and advise upon all matters relating to the provision of dwellings in New Zealand, following a recommendation of the 1971 Commission of Inquiry into Housing.

As at 31 March 1988, the Housing Commission’s six Ministerially appointed members were as follows:

Ewing Robertson (Chairman)
General Manager

Prue Hyman
Senior Lecturer in Economics

Richard Sutton
Professor of Law

Keith Clement
Architectural Consultant

Ashley Russ
Union Secretary

David Thorns
Reader in Sociology

Departmental members from Housing Corporation of New Zealand:

Ron Kelly

Executive Director
Patsy Fischer

Don Cattanach
Assistant Director-General

On behalf of past and present members of the National Housing Commission, this opportunity is taken to gratefully acknowledge the work of the staff of the Housing Corporation of New Zealand for the Commission over the past 14 years.


This Five-Yearly Report of the National Housing Commission has been prepared in different circumstances from its predecessors. The Commission is being wound up on 31 March 1988 following a Cabinet decision to alter the mechanisms for delivering advice on housing to the Minister of Housing.

This decision was received with regret by Commission members who have personally valued their role and, even though on a part-time basis, have given of their best to the body. Since the Commission first met in April 1974, its members have devoted substantial efforts to the study, co-ordination and improvement of housing in New Zealand.

The Commission decided that this final report, whilst still including a review of the past five years, should focus on current housing issues, within the context of research findings.

The Commission considers that from its accumulated experience it has something to offer to those who will, we hope, be fulfilling its various roles in the future. This report accordingly presents a series of recommendations on the direction of policy and suggestions for the future handling of housing advice, co-ordination and research.

Amongst the reasons for setting up the Commission, was the need to provide independent and expert advice to the Minister of Housing, by people with a wide range of community experience. This need will not go out of existence with the Commission. Future Government will have to provide for it, or the quality of housing advice they receive will suffer.

Ewing Robertson Chairman, National Housing Commission, March 1988


Original digital file



Selected pages from “Housing New Zealand – Provision and Policy at the Crossroads” with particular reference to Ewing Robertson

Business / Organisation

National Housing Commission

Date published


Format of the original



National Housing Commission


  • Don Cattanach
  • Keith Clement
  • Patsy Fischer
  • Prue Hyman
  • Ron Kelly
  • Ewing Robertson
  • Ashley Russ
  • Richard Sutton
  • David Thorns

Accession number


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