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Dwelling definitions

Dwelling

A dwelling is 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, for example an apartment building where each separate apartment or unit is considered a dwelling.

Dwelling occupancy status

Dwelling occupancy status is the variable that classifies all dwellings according to whether they were occupied or not and why they were unoccupied on the date of the census.

For the census, a dwelling is defined as occupied if it is:

  • occupied at midnight on the night of the census, or
  • occupied at any time during the 12 hours following midnight on the night of the census, unless the occupant(s) completed a questionnaire at another dwelling during this period.

Dwelling type

Refer also to 'occupied dwelling type'.

Dwelling under construction

All houses, flats, groups or blocks of flats being built.

Fuel types used to heat dwelling

‘Fuel types used to heat dwelling’ measures the type of fuel used to heat an occupied private dwelling. More than one fuel type may be used to heat the dwelling. Examples of fuel types are electricity, gas, coal, and wood. Insulation is not a fuel type.

Non-private dwelling

Refer also to 'occupied non-private dwelling'.

Number of bedrooms

A bedroom is defined as a room in a dwelling that is used, or intended to be used, for sleeping in. While the following rules apply, operationally, the number of bedrooms is determined by the respondent who completes the dwelling form on census night:

  • A room is considered to be a bedroom if it is furnished as a bedroom, even if it is not being used at the time of the census. A room furnished as a bedroom should include a sleeping facility such as a bed or mattress, and could include items such as a dresser or chest of drawers.
  • Room equivalents should not be counted for one-roomed dwellings (ie bed-sitting room). A one-roomed dwelling should be counted as having one bedroom and therefore one total room.
  • A sleepout adjacent to a private dwelling should be counted as a bedroom if it is used and/or furnished as a bedroom and is occupied by members of the same household as those occupying the dwelling.
  • A caravan adjacent to a private dwelling should be counted as a bedroom only if it is used as a bedroom and is occupied by members of the same household as those occupying the dwelling.
  • A room (such as a living room) that is used as a bedroom at night, either short term or long term, should not be counted as a bedroom unless the only bedroom facilities in the dwelling are in that room. If the only bedroom facilities in a dwelling are in a room that is also used for another purpose (ie in a living room), this room should be counted as a bedroom.

Number of occupants

Number of occupants on census night is the number of people who are present in a particular dwelling in New Zealand on census night and who complete a census individual form at that dwelling.

Number of occupants on census night therefore includes:

  • people who usually live in the dwelling and are present at the time of the census
  • people who usually reside overseas but are present in the dwelling at the time of the census
  • people who usually reside elsewhere in New Zealand, but are present in the dwelling at the time of the census.

Number of occupants on census night excludes:

  • people who usually live in the dwelling but are absent at the time of the census.

Number of rooms

A room is defined as a space in a dwelling that is used, or intended to be used, for habitation and is enclosed by walls reaching from the floor to the ceiling or roof covering. Service areas are excluded. While the following rules apply, operationally, the number of rooms is determined by the respondent who completes the dwelling form on census night.

The total number of rooms includes habitable spaces such as bedrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms, lounge rooms, studies, games rooms, studios, hobby rooms, habitable cellars and attics. However, service areas such as pantries, hallways, spa rooms, walk-in wardrobes, corridors, verandahs, garages, laundries, toilets and bathrooms should not be counted as rooms.

If a dwelling is built in an open-plan style, then room equivalents should be counted as if they had walls between them.

Room equivalents should not be counted for one-roomed dwellings (ie bed-sitting rooms). A one-roomed dwelling should be counted as having one room only.

Occupied dwelling

For the census, a dwelling is defined as occupied if it is:

  • occupied at midnight on the night of the census, or
  • occupied at any time during the 12 hours following midnight on the night of the census unless the occupant(s) completed a questionnaire at another dwelling during that period.

Occupied dwelling type

Occupied dwelling type classifies all occupied dwellings according to their structure and function.

Occupied non-private dwelling

Occupied non-private dwellings are generally available to the public by virtue of employment, study, special care requirement, legal requirement, or recreation. They may be designed to house groups of people who are bound by either a common public objective or a common personal interest, or to provide communal or transitory type accommodation (used for short-term or long-term accommodation).

Occupied non-private dwellings include:

  • hotels, motels
  • hospitals, camps, institutional complexes, communal staff quarters and backpackers
  • dwellings that would usually be classified as occupied private dwellings, but which have five or more boarders, lodgers or guests, for example homestays, farmstays, and bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) (with five or more boarders, lodgers or guests).

Occupied private dwelling

An occupied 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.

Occupied private dwellings include:

  • houses, flats and apartments
  • flats or houses within a complex
  • residences attached to a business or institution
  • caravans, cabins and tents
  • vehicles
  • vessels
  • independent self-care units in retirement complexes
  • a private dwelling within a non-private dwelling structure or complex
  • baches, cribs and holiday homes
  • Child, Youth and Family Services (CYFS) family homes
  • homestays, farmstays, and bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) with fewer than five boarders, lodgers or guests.

Private dwelling

Refer also to 'occupied private dwelling'.

Unoccupied dwelling

A dwelling is defined as unoccupied if it is:

  • unoccupied at all times during the 12 hours following midnight on the night of the census, and
  • suitable for habitation.
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