As with much else concerning the Maori, there is little information of a national coverage to indicate the state of his housing and his accommodation needs in general. But the 1961 census showed that the average Maori house contained 4·1 rooms occupied by 5·5 people, whereas the average non-Maori house had 4·9 rooms occupied by 3·5 people. It has been estimated that 30 per cent of the Maori people live in grossly overcrowded conditions, mainly in Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, East Coast, and urban Auckland.
Urban housing in particular is becoming a vexed question for administrators and social workers, as well as for the Maori himself. It is a question which revolves around two aspects of the urban (Maori) population structure: (a) the extreme rapidity with which it is growing, due mainly to immigration; and (b) its youth, and therefore the high percentage of single individuals, childless couples, and small-sized families.
It is generally agreed that a youthful, insecure, and vocationally ill-equipped sector of the population should be provided with sound accommodation at the outset if there is to be any hope of its surviving the difficulties of adaptation to urban life.
While attention has repeatedly been addressed to this problem, no solution is yet apparent. It is a situation, furthermore, which is deteriorating in proportion to the rate in which apartment house areas are being rezoned and taken over for industry, and to the total increase in demand for such accommodation.