Whakarāpopototanga | Executive summary

Long-term Insights Briefings (Briefings) are a new requirement under Schedule 6 of the Public Service Act 2020. They provide the public with information about medium and long-term trends, risks, and opportunities affecting Aotearoa New Zealand at least 10 years in the future, and options for how we might respond.

Our Briefing considers the implications of our ageing population for our housing and urban futures.

Population ageing will increase the number of people aged 65 years and older and change the composition of our population. We consider this in the context of existing conditions in Aotearoa New Zealand and what that means for likely futures across three domains:

  • Housing tenure and housing costs
  • Our houses and our housing stock
  • Neighbourhoods, towns, and cities.

Across these three domains, we've identified four key shifts needed for our housing and urban development system to support the needs of an ageing population across their life stages and into older age:

  • More affordable housing. This provides people stability to participate in education, employment, and in their communities.
  • Diversified tenure choices beyond renting and owner occupation to alternative tenures. This improves tenure security, ensures housing costs are manageable, and sustains living standards to support wellbeing.
  • Increased diversity and functionality of the housing stock. This is required to allow people to live as independently as possible.
  • Neighbourhoods, towns, and cities that are designed to make it easy for people to access the amenities they need to support their wellbeing.

The likely impacts of our ageing population for our housing and urban futures reinforces the need for change, to ensure Aotearoa New Zealand has the homes and communities people need. There is no silver bullet to achieve these shifts. While there is work underway, a sustained and collaborative effort by central and local government, iwi and Māori, and the private and not-for-profit sector, will be needed to ensure that our places develop in ways that best meet the needs of our ageing population.

About Long-term Insights Briefings

Long-term Insights Briefings must be published every three years. The requirement to publish a Briefing is a statutory responsibility of departmental chief executives, independent of ministers.  

Find out more about the process for developing Long-term Insights Briefings on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website(external link).

Consultation on the Briefing

In October 2022 we consulted on our draft Briefing, which looked at the long-term implications of Aotearoa New Zealand’s ageing population for our housing and urban futures. Twenty-five submissions were received from a wide range of interest groups and individuals and largely confirmed the focus of the Briefing. The submissions are summarised in the final Briefing.