After a steep rise during the first Labour government (1936–49) the total number of state houses initially fell under the succeeding Holland National government (1949–57). National promoted a property-owning democracy and allowed state-housing tenants to buy their state houses. Nonetheless, it remained committed to state-housing provision for those who were priced out of the private market. Holyoake's National government (1960–72) continued this line, building over 10,000 new dwellings during its tenure in office. After an initial spurt, the Muldoon government (1975–84) sold off state houses, a practice continued at an even greater rate by the Bolger and Shipley governments (1990–99), which believed the state should only provide housing for the most needy. In contrast, with the exception of the Kirk/Rowling administration (1972–75), Labour-led governments have increased the total state housing stock on the basis that the market is unable to provide good-quality and affordable homes for all.
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Source: Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives, B-13; Housing New Zealand