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State housing

Page 9 – Timeline

1905: Liberal government's Workers' Dwellings Act passed

1906: First workers' dwellings completed in Petone, Wellington; but scheme not a success, with only 126 houses built by 1910

1912–28: Reform government sells off remaining workers' dwellings, and promotes private home-ownership through State Advances Corporation (SAC) loans

1935: Election of first Labour government

1936: Government launches major state housing scheme; Department of Housing Construction established

1937: First families move into new state houses, including the McGregors at 12 Fife Lane, Miramar, Wellington

1940: Completion of first multi-unit state flats, Centennial Flats in Berhampore, Wellington

1942–44: State house construction virtually ceases due to wartime shortages

1943: Completion of 10-storey Dixon Street Flats in Wellington

1947: Opening of Symonds Street Flats and Greys Avenue Flats in Auckland

1948: Māori housing scheme established, managed by SAC and Department of Maori Affairs

1949: Election of National government, which in 1950s promotes sale of state houses to tenants

1952: 12 Fife Lane bought by McGregor family

1974: Housing Corporation of New Zealand formed, by merging SAC and Housing Division of Ministry of Works

1978: 100,000th state house completed in Christchurch

1983: 12 Fife Lane repurchased by Housing Corporation in recognition of its historic significance

1991: New National government announces gradual introduction of full market rents for state house tenants

1999: New Labour-led government reintroduces income-related rents and moratorium on state house sales

2001: Housing New Zealand Corporation established

2005: Centenary of state housing in New Zealand

How to cite this page

Timeline, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated