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Definition

Definition

A dwelling means any building or structure, or part thereof, that is used (or intended to be used) for the purpose of human habitation. It can be of a permanent or temporary nature and includes structures such as houses, motels, hotels, prisons, motor homes, huts, and tents. There can be more than one dwelling within a building, such as an apartment building in which each apartment or unit is considered to be a separate dwelling.

Dwellings are defined as either private or non-private if they are occupied.

A private dwelling accommodates a person or a group of people. It is not generally available for public use. The main purpose of a private dwelling is as a place of habitation, and it is usually built (or converted) to function as a self-contained housing unit.

A non-private dwelling provides short or long-term communal or transitory type accommodation. Non-private dwellings are generally available to the public for reasons of employment, study, special need, legal requirement or recreation. 

Operational issues

The description of a dwelling as being self-contained is to counter rented rooms, in houses and apartments that share kitchen and/or bathroom facilities, being classified as separate dwellings.

Explanatory notes

Housing and accommodation has been a dynamic sector over the decade to 2009. The increasing transformation of the traditional Kiwi bach into a more substantial home, the development of high-rise and serviced apartment blocks, and the proliferation of small-scale bed and breakfasts are among the trends that have posed challenges for the collection of relevant occupied dwelling type data.

Statistical collections, including census, have responded with the development of new operational definitions and collection practices. As a result, the 1999 statistical standard for dwelling type has become outdated, and no longer adequately guides and standardises current practice within Statistics NZ collections.

The 2009 standard for occupied dwelling type documents current practice in the use of classifications within Statistics NZ. Definitions, guidelines, and enumeration practice were developed for the classifications currently used, and standardises them across census, household surveys, and the census post-enumeration survey. The census classification was reviewed for use in the 2001 and 2006 Censuses, using the concepts of structure and function of dwellings. The 2006 classification was endorsed by the Standards Governance Board for use by census and this classification has now become the standard. The 2006 classification is also being reviewed for the 2011 Census and may have additional categories to better capture occupied dwelling type information. The updated classification will be included in this standard.

The classifications from the 1999 standard are now obsolete as they did not meet the needs of surveys or other collections.

The Census of Population and Dwellings requires a classification of all private and non-private occupied dwellings and does not use residual classification categories.

Occupied dwelling type has also been known as 'type of dwelling' and 'dwelling type'.

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