Author(s): Ben Schrader
Aimed at the general reader and highly illustrated, this is a history of state housing with a difference ÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂ re-telling the experiences of the designers, tenants and occupiers of New Zealand state houses from the 1940s to the present.
Among hundreds of interviews the author discovers stories from some of the remotest parts of the West Coast, from state house kids growing up in 1950s Taumaranui and city-centres through to Middle Eastern migrants living in Mt Roskill in the 1990s. These human stories challenge many stereotyped views surrounding state housing, and critically examines popular ideas that tenants are bludgers or trouble-makers or that state houses are failed experiments in social engineering.
The governmentÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂs involvement in housing and policy contextualise the experiences of those that built and those that lived and continue to live in state homes, giving balance to the human story behind this unique facet of New ZealandÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂs cultural heritage. reviewed in The Aucklander. The reviewer writes, "Whether as tenant, owner of just visitor, few New Zealanders will have escaped the influence of the state house. This book celebrates the mark they've made on us as individuals and as a nation." (15/06/05)
Shortlisted for Montana New Zealand Book Awards: History Category 2006.