43 Adelaide Street, Petone, Lower Hutt
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 2
Private/No Public Access
28th June 1984
Sec 17 Blk II DP 5172 (CT WN479/144), Wellington Land District
This house is one of the first state houses built in New Zealand. Under the Workers' Dwelling Act 1905 the Liberal Government, led by Premier Richard John Seddon, undertook to provide low cost but quality housing to working families. Land was purchased in the suburbs of the four main centres (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin). In order to avoid an image of a 'workers barracks' by erecting all houses to the same design, a competition was held to find a number of designs. From the winning entries two sets of designs were produced, one for the North Island and one for the South Island, to take account of the climatic variation between the two islands. Petone was chosen as the site for the first of these houses primarily because Wellington was considered to have the highest rents in the country. In 1906 the first 25 houses, based on seven designs by prominent New Zealand architects, were built in what was named the Heretaunga Settlement. Initially, interest in applying for the houses was small, primarily due to the cost of rent and the distance of the settlement from the main industrial areas of Petone and Wellington City. Many workers also found it difficult to find the deposit needed to apply for the house. Although changes were made to increase the maximum income limit a worker was allowed to earn, it was not until transport improved that the houses became fully tenanted. Only 9 more houses were built in Petone under the 1905 Act, and by 1919 only 657 had been built throughout the whole country.
In 1984 the registered properties in Patrick Street and adjoining Adelaide Street constructed under the Workers' Dwellings Act 1905 were declared part of an Historic Area by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
This house design known as 'Suburban', was designed Penty and Blake, the architects who designed the Hunter Building, Victoria University. It is a two-storeyed house with a gabled street elevation. Three houses of the 'Suburban' type were built, but this is the only house left that resembles the original plan.
This house has great historical significance as it was one of the first state houses built under the Workers' Dwelling Act 1905, the first large-scale central government initiative to provide affordable housing to low-income working families. It was part of a wider package of social legislation passed by the Liberal Government (1893-1912). It is also significant as it was designed by notable architects, Penty and Blake.
Penty & Blake
No biography is currently available for this construction professional
16th August 2001
Report Written By
Ian Bowman, 'Special Precinct protects workers dwellings', in Historic Places in New Zealand, September 1989, no. 26, pp. 3-5.
Ian Bowman, 'Patrick Street Historic Precinct, Conservation Principles and Design Guidelines', 1990
Susan Butterworth, 'Petone, A history', Auckland, 1988
Barbara Fill, 'Seddon's State Houses; The Workers' Dwellings Act 1905, & the Heretaunga Settlement', Wellington Regional Committee Monograph Number 1, New Zealand Historic Places Trust, Wellington, 1981
Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.