This research looks at residential movements in New Zealand. Previous studies have linked frequent movement with poor outcomes for the affected individuals and their families, including poor education and health outcomes. Frequent residential moves, especially involuntary ones, can also worsen physical and mental wellbeing and future human capital.
This research found that 5.6% of New Zealanders moved three or more times during the three year period studied. Over two-thirds of this group (4% of the population) were classified as being vulnerable transient, which is approximately 150,000 people. These people experienced at least three moves in three years, with a least one move towards or within our most deprived neighbourhoods.
Being female, Māori, associated with a social welfare benefit, experiencing social housing, facing court charges, having a Child Youth and Family (CYF)* event, having a mental health event or visiting a hospital emergency department are all associated with a substantial increase in the chances of being in this group. The most important characteristic appears to be association with a social welfare benefit.
This report was commissioned at the request of the Minister of Finance as part of the Ministerial Social Sector Research Fund, which is used to respond to research and evaluation questions from Ministers. The research was conducted by the New Zealand Work Research Institute at AUT University.
* The research covers a period before CYF became the Ministry for Children Oranga Tamariki.