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State Housing in New Zealand

            State housing has been a welfare provision provided by the state that has assisted thousands of New Zealanders for centuries. The state has been providing low-cost rental houses to those whom are financially unable to afford a home of their own or are unable to sustain adequate income to rent private housing. Having a prosperous history, state housing dates back as early as 1905 where Prime Minister Richard Seddon approved the Workers Dwelling Act. The program did not prosper and folded in 1919, but the idea was not lost, later being re launched by the first Labour led government in 1930's. Over the next several decades, state housing policies were abolished and adjusted as National and Labour parties took and lost government. (Housing New Zealand, 2013). In looking at the history of welfare, in particular state housing, it is apparently obvious the trends that have formed over history due to the part in government at different periods of time. In this essay I aim to compare National and Labour lead governments and their contrasting approaches to distrusting welfare in regards to state housing, I will compare the two parties approaches under Gøsta Esping-Andersen's three model welfare regimes. Although looking at a historical point of view over all, I aim to look in particular at the distinctive approaches of the first labour government in 1930's, compared to the fourth National government in the 1990's. Gøsta Esping-Andersen proposed three models of welfare states, each model being connecting to countries all around the world to demonstrate the diversity of approaches a state takes to distribute welfare. Although under his categorisation, New Zealand is a liberal welfare state, looking at our history in regards to state housing, it is apparent New Zealand falls under two categories dependent on the party in government. Liberal and social democratic are the two regime approaches that are most applicable to the National and Labours governments contrasting approaches to state housing in New Zealand.

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