State housing dominated much of New Zealand building during the 1940s and 50s, while during the 1960s a distinct ‘New Zealand style’ began to emerge.

Influences on house design

Economic cycles, war, the Napier earthquake, housing shortages, and trends in building regulation and training all influenced house design during the 1940s to 1960s. Read more.

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State houses

State houses were built to high quality using standardised components and a range of standard plans. During the 1940s, state housing accounted for 28% of all new homes in New Zealand. Read more.

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Private housing during the 1940s-60s

Government financing rules meant that most private housing in the 1940s and 1950s was modest  and closely and resembled state housing. During the 1960s, designs began to change, but brick and tile dominated. Read more.

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Architect-designed homes in the 1940s-1960s

While Government most homes followed a fairly standard template, by the 1960s architects were experimenting with a ‘New Zealand’ or ‘Pacific’ style featuring open plan living, indoor-outdoor flow and greater use of timber than in the previous decade. Read more.

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1940s-60s houses today

Many 1940s-60s houses will have been altered – for example to provide indoor-outdoor flow – but few have been brought up to modern energy efficiency standards. Read more.