Story: Māori housing – te noho whare

Rural and urban Māori housing tenure, 1926–81 (3rd of 3)

These two graphs highlight how the rate of Māori home ownership has been higher in rural than urban New Zealand. Even so, in both areas, Māori homeownership rates decreased between 1926 and 1981. In rural areas they plateaued at around 50% in 1951. In urban areas they showed a slight increase from 1951 to 1966. This trend reflected increased state housing subsidies to low-income New Zealanders, many of whom were Māori. From the 1970s these subsidies became less generous, making it harder for this group to purchase houses.  

Of interest is the high number of Māori households living rent free, especially in rural areas. Many of these would have been farm workers and the like, whose housing was included as part of the job. 

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Source: New Zealand census 1926–1981

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How to cite this page:

Ben Schrader, 'Māori housing – te noho whare - Urbanisation', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 June 2022)

Story by Ben Schrader, published 5 Sep 2013