World Habitat Day

World Habitat Day Quick Facts - NZ

HashtagsCompiled on#WorldHabitatDay, #WorldHabitatDay2020
2024 Date7 October 2024
2025 Date6 October 2025

World Habitat Day

World Habitat Day in

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World Habitat Day History

World Habitat Day is an annual event designated by the United Nations to reflect on the state of human settlements and the fundamental rights of all individuals to adequate shelter. This international observance promotes sustainable development policies that ensure shelter is accessible, affordable, and environmentally friendly. Furthermore, World Habitat Day aims to raise awareness about improving urban living conditions and tackling global housing challenges, such as inadequate housing, homelessness, and rapid urbanisation.

The United Nations General Assembly established World Habitat Day in 1985 through Resolution 40/202, with the first observance in 1986. For New Zealanders, acknowledging World Habitat Day has specific relevance as the country faces its own unique housing challenges. Issues such as the nationwide housing shortage, increasing house prices, and the growing prevalence of substandard living conditions have raised concerns about the accessibility of adequate housing for all New Zealand residents. Consequently, initiatives like the KiwiBuild programme and the Healthy Homes Standards were introduced to address these challenges and align to provide affordable, quality housing for everyone.

In New Zealand, World Habitat Day is observed through various activities that raise awareness about the importance of housing as a foundation for a stable and healthy life. These activities may include seminars, workshops, conferences, and exhibitions around housing issues, affordability, and sustainability. Government agencies, non-governmental organisations, and community-based organisations collaborate to organise events and encourage public participation. World Habitat Day is observed on the first Monday of October each year, promoting a global conversation on the progress and challenges faced with the housing situation.

World Habitat Day facts

  • The theme for World Habitat Day in 2022 was Mind the Gap. Leave No One and Place Behind.
  • Around 1.8 billion people (20% of the world's population) lack adequate housing.
  • There are 1 billion people on Earth living in informal settlements or slums. More than 100 million are homeless.
  • New Zealand is also famous for its flightless birds, including the iconic kiwi, the endangered kakapo, and the largest parrot in the world, the kea. These birds have adapted to life on the ground, given that they originally faced few predator threats in their natural habitats.
  • The Southern Alps, running the length of the South Island, provide unique alpine habitats that are home to flora and fauna adapted to the high altitude, cold temperatures, and harsh weather. The critically endangered takahe and the kea can be found in these alpine environments.

Top things to do in NZ for World Habitat Day

  • Donate resources like clothes or toiletries to your local homeless shelters.
  • Take some time to research and learn about the current housing situation in New Zealand. Understand the challenges faced by different communities and explore potential solutions.
  • Plan a fundraising event or campaign to support organizations working towards improving housing conditions. This could be a charity auction, a community garage sale, or a sponsored walk/run.

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