STATE HOUSING IN NEW ZEALAND

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A propaganda film produced for the First Labour Government prior to the 1943 General Election. It highlights the building and construction of state houses in New Zealand.

Intertitle: “Here is the story of New Zealand’s effort to meet the tremendous housing shortage.” Cover of “The Standard” newspaper, with headline “Great Housing Scheme announced by Mr Savage” and a picture of Hon. Robert (Bob) Semple (Minister of Public Works).

Intertitle: “Evidence of the crying need”. Views of cramped cottages [in Aro Valley]. Woman hanging out clothes on second floor balcony. Makeshift clothesline. Close up of house with cracked brick wall and smashed windows. Derelict wooden house.

Intertitle: “The first step is the purchase of suitable land.” Pan paddock. Aerial view of mostly undeveloped land. Surveyor using theodolite examining coastal land [in Wellington]. Bulldozer pushing soil. Close up of hand signing “Application for a state rental house” form.

Intertitle: “Public response was immediate and heavy. Subdivision and general planning was undertaken by the Housing Construction Department.” Various street plans. Views of plough pulled by tractor. Men preparing house foundation in paddock. Views of men building state houses; one of the houses is in a relatively built up suburb, the other on empty land.

Intertitle: “Working with a will these tradesmen built 15,000 homes in under 4 years.” Views of tradesmen building various state houses, including close ups of brick laying and roof tiling.

Intertitle: “In Oamaru the now famous Oamaru stone is used.” Large pieces of stone loaded onto platform [truck or train]. Cutting stone with saw. Stone block set down by tradesman.

Intertitle: “Concrete is not forgotten.” Man standing atop ladder wiring [electricity line]. Three men levelling concrete foundation. Partially built brick state house. Concrete mixer in operation.

Intertitle: “Before the housing scheme commenced a large percentage of the materials required by the building trade were imported. Now, our own factories meet the demand.” Views of metalworking including mold casting, and piles of finished products [metal tubing]. Metal lathe. Views of men finishing toilet bowls. Pan across inside factory, rows upon rows of toilet bowls. Toilet bowl [spray painted]. Man holding bathroom sink. Rows of sinks.

Intertitle: “The woodwork, synthetic materials, and windows are all made in New Zealand. Prefabrication on a mass production scale is the objective.” Views of prefabrication machinery and woodworking. Men making insulated wood boards.

Intertitle: “An effort is made to keep the supply ahead of the demand.” Views of stacks of timber and other materials, various building sites.

Intertitles: “THE SCHEME COVERS EVERY MAIN TOWN IN NEW ZEALAND.” Map of North Island. “...in the NORTH ISLAND” “WELLINGTON TO KAITAIA” “AUCKLAND, HAMILTON, GISBORNE, NAPIER, NEW PLYMOUTH, WANGANUI, PALMERSTON NORTH”. “in the SOUTH ISLAND” Map of South Island. “NELSON TO BLUFF” “DUNEDIN, TIMARU, CHRISTCHURCH, GREYMOUTH, WESTPORT, BLENHEIM”.

Woman walks into side entrance of brick state house.

Intertitle: “Both comfort and convenience are the objective.” Views of state house rooms: living room, kitchen sink and cupboards, bedroom. Child sitting in high chair and with woman in living room. Woman at stove in kitchen.

Intertitle: “Flats are also being constructed.-- Here is a model of a block for Auckland.” Model of flats [Greys Ave, Auckland].

Intertitle: “And here the Dixon Street Block in Wellington.-- These are already occupied.” Views of Dixon Street flats, Wellington.

Intertitle: “The scenes that follow are natural colour shots of some of the Government homes in the main centres of New Zealand.” Ends abruptly, with no colour shots.

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Year 1943

Reference number F3309

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production NEW ZEALAND/AOTEAROA

Genre Promotional

Duration 0:12:55

Production company NZ Public Works Department

Credits Producer: Public Works Department New Zealand

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