The government’s healthy homes standards are meant to raise the quality of over half a million rental properties, says The Spinoff. But tracking compliance is subpar – and that’s undermining democracy. This “accountability deficit” is also a “democratic deficit”, which could undermine a country ranked the second freest nation in the world in 2021. Particularly when one accounts for the fact that property is New Zealanders’ primary source of wealth, that the country’s equality schism continues to widen, and that a disparity exists for some 600,000 households living in properties they don’t own.