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Related classifications and standards

New Zealand

Related standards

Number of rooms/bedrooms is only asked of people in occupied private dwellings, which includes temporary private dwellings like park benches and bridges. The standard for dwelling type is currently being reviewed and it is proposed that the ‘temporary private dwelling’ division be further defined by the addition of a separate category for ‘roofless and/or rough sleepers’. This separate category will solely cover those who sleep on the streets or other public areas, at the time of a survey and have no other place of usual residence. (Inclusions: park bench, bus shelter, under bridges, in the park, train station, and doorways). Dwelling characteristics for ‘rough sleepers’ such as number of rooms/bedrooms will then either (a) be excluded if collected, or (b) not be collected at all.

Users of the standard

Users of the standard for number of rooms/bedrooms include Housing New Zealand, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Education, Area Health Boards, the Department of Social Welfare, town planners, local authorities, and real estate agents.

International

Rooms and bedrooms

The standard definition for number of rooms is based on United Nations recommendations. The standard is consistent with the United Nations in that the number of rooms includes spaces intended for habitation, and excludes service areas. (The United Nations uses the term ‘utility room’ rather than ‘service area’, however the coverage is the same.)

The United Nations defines a bedroom as “a room equipped with a bed and used for night rest”. The definition of bedroom contained in this standard is more extensive in detail than that of the United Nations. In the standard definition, a room is considered to be a bedroom if it is furnished as a bedroom even if it has never been used or is not being used at the time of the data collection. The standard definition also allows for a ‘sleeping facility’ (this could be a bed, a mattress or even a mat), and incorporates guidelines for calculating the number of bedrooms in difficult situations (such as a bed–sit).

Business rooms

The United Nations recommends that rooms used exclusively for business or professional purposes should be counted separately, as it is desirable to include them when calculating the number of rooms in a dwelling but to exclude them when calculating the number of people per room. In the standard, rooms used exclusively for business and professional purposes are included in the number of rooms, but are not calculated separately.

A separate count for rooms used for business and professional purposes has not been identified as a priority in New Zealand at present. The introduction of a standard for the number of business rooms variable presents difficult issues which require investigation in a New Zealand context. Many private dwellings do not have rooms allocated solely for business purposes; these rooms often double as studies, store rooms and even bedrooms. The inclusion of a separate count for rooms used exclusively for business or professional purposes may, however, be an area of interest for the future.

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