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Seddon’s state houses: The Workers’ Dwellings Act 1905 & the Heretaunga Settlement.

Author Category Source

Wellington Regional Committee, New Zealand Historic Places Trust, ,

Published Year

This book offers an historical account of one of New Zealand's earliest ventures into state housing.

It focuses on the Workers’ Dwellings Act of 1905, a pioneering piece of legislation spearheaded by Prime Minister Richard Seddon. The Act represented a groundbreaking move towards government involvement in providing affordable housing for workers. Fill’s study details the development and impact of this Act, particularly emphasising its implementation in the Heretaunga Settlement. The book provides valuable insights into the architectural, social, and political aspects of the early state housing scheme. Through an exploration of the design and construction of these dwellings, Fill not only sheds light on the physical characteristics of the houses but also on the broader social intentions and implications of the Act. A significant aspect of this work is its contribution to understanding the historical context of state involvement in housing in New Zealand. Fill critically examines the successes and limitations of the Workers’ Dwellings Act, offering a nuanced view of its role in the evolution of housing policy in New Zealand. The Heretaunga Settlement, as a case study, serves as a tangible example of the early attempts to address housing affordability and quality for the working class.

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