Story: Housing

Housing materials

This table underscores the dominance of wood as a building material in New Zealand housing until the 1970s. In 1916, 94% of all New Zealand houses were built of wood and iron (corrugated iron was often used as a cladding material on the side of houses because it was fire-resistant). This had fallen to 56% by 1976, as brick, stone and concrete buildings increased their share. The table shows how some materials, such as canvas, fell out of use, while others like asbestos and stucco became fashionable.

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Source: New Zealand census, 1878-1976

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How to cite this page:

Ben Schrader, 'Housing - Construction and materials', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 31 January 2023)

Story by Ben Schrader, published 5 Sep 2013