In this two-part Lookout documentary from 1983, critic Hamish Keith explores how New Zealanders have housed themselves over the 20th Century. This first part builds to 1935: it begins in Auckland War Memorial Museum, with Keith asking how Kiwis would represent themselves if they were curators in the future. He presents the state house as the paramount Kiwi icon, and examines the journey from Victorian slums and Queen Street sewers to villas, bungalows and suburbia; plus the impact on housing of cars, consumerism, influenza, war, depression, and new ideas in town planning.
Our search for security ended up in the suburb. And a suburban ideal – a happy, healthy, carefree life lived in the garden – became the New Zealand ideal. To a threatened generation in 1935, the security of the conforming suburb, seemed like paradise.– Hamish Keith