First state house opened in Miramar

18 September 1937

Most of the Labour Cabinet helped the first tenants move into 12 Fife Lane in Miramar, Wellington. Even Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage took part, carrying a cumbersome dining table through a cheering throng.

The tenants, David and Mary McGregor, found themselves with such distinguished movers because their new home was the first to be completed and made available to state tenants in a new subdivision of state houses. The government’s aim was to rid New Zealand of sub-standard housing by building 5000 new homes a year.

After the opening ceremony 300 people walked through the McGregors’ open home, muddying floors and leaving fingerprints on freshly painted fixtures. They eventually persuaded their guests to leave, but for days afterwards sightseers peered through the windows.

Image: 12 Fife Lane