PSA puts housing back on the agenda with Progressive Thinking booklet

The Public Service Association is thrilled to present Progressive Thinking: ten perspectives on housing; an edited booklet that brings together some of New Zealand’s finest minds in housing policy for a conversation on an issue of prime importance to our 64,000+ members.

"We are increasingly hearing worrying stories from workers that they can no longer afford to live in the cities they work in; they cannot rely on secure or healthy rental properties; and they’re feeling disheartened by the lack of political progress on the most fundamental of issues for them."

"Make no mistake - there is a housing crisis in New Zealand, and our members are living in it."

Progressive Thinking: ten perspectives on housing contains articles on housing affordability and access, state housing and rental laws, architecture and history, housing policy analysis and broader reflections on what caused the current housing crisis. Authors include Alan Johnson (Salvation Army), Philippa Howden-Chapman (University of Otago), Jess Berenston-Shaw (Morgan Foundation) and David Rutherford (Human Rights Commissioner).

Some recurrent themes emerge during the booklet’s ten chapters - the centrality of affordable, secure, quality housing to the health and wellbeing of communities, and the need to think very differently about housing provision in the future. Several authors argue that the private market will not provide affordable housing of the type and volume that New Zealand needs, and that government needs to step in to fulfil this function.

"The first step with major social change is having the conversation, and that’s why we decided to publish this booklet," says Mr Barclay.

"With the election less than five weeks away, there is no better time to advocate for real and enduring solutions to our housing crisis."

"The status quo is simply not an option in 2017 - a nation’s ability to adequately house its citizens is fundamental to any functioning society, and that may no longer be the case in New Zealand."

The PSA’s Progressive Thinking booklet is launched 12-2pm on Monday 21st August at the St Columba Centre, Vermont Street, Ponsonby Auckland.

It is available to read online at


Foreword by Glenn Barclay & Erin Polaczuk, PSA national secretaries

1. Housing and Health by Philippa Howden-Chapman

2. Affordability - where next? by John Tookey

3. Innovating our way out of New Zealand’s housing disaster by Jess Berentson-Shaw

4. The soft privatisation of state housing by Alan Johnson

5. Beyond the quarter acre section by Bill McKay

6. Luck and love: housing and disability by Esther Woodbury

7. No country for young men or women by Andrew Coleman

8. The forgotten 50% by Robert Whitaker

9. Local Government and the housing crisis by Shamubeel Eaqub

10. The Human Right to Adequate Housing by David Rutherford

+ A case study in Māori housing movements by Jade Kake