Construction of a Nation stamp issue by New Zealand Post looks back on five prominent styles of housing - most of which are still visible in areas around the country today.
When European settlers came to New Zealand, they left behind their ways of life and began to adapt, socially and architecturally in this new land. New Zealand housing styles inevitably evolved over time in response to environmental and social changes, resulting in the diverse architectural landscape seen in New Zealand neighborhoods today.
The housing styles in this issue reflect the materials available at the time and illustrate a response to climate and a way of living different from those in other countries. The Construction of a Nation stamp issue reflects New Zealand's humble architectural beginnings, and the five housing styles portrayed are the colonial cottage, the villa, the Californian bungalow, Art Deco and the state house.
70c - Colonial Cottage
These simple houses were the earliest structures and provided just enough space for the necessities of everyday life, with rooms serving multiple purposes. Their exterior forms were simple and resembled traditional cottages in the United Kingdom – square boxes with gable or hip roofs. Their big innovation was the inclusion of a verandah.
$1.40 - Villa
The villa was a far more complex house and was the true vernacular New Zealand style. Villas were built around simple plans, usually with a central hallway joining rooms on either side, and were built using standard components, although differences in form and detail resulted in distinct regional styles across the country.
$1.90 - Californian Bungalow
Following World War I, the Californian bungalow became the new style for modern houses, replacing the villa and reflecting a more relaxed way of life. With low-pitched, wide roofs and casement windows, plus the use of different materials and colors, their appearances were very different from the older villas.
$2.40 - Art Deco
Also known as the "Moderne" style, the Art Deco home reflected new architectural ideas from Europe. Although embellishment was generally unseen on these houses, there were common decorative features typical of the Art Deco style, such as moulded stripes and circles, and often small raised plaques of objects such as ships.
$2.90 - State House
This style of home was a result of a programme from the 1935 Labour Government to enable workers and other lower-paid people to have access to modern, well made houses. Building costs were carefully controlled through the use of a limited number of standard plans and roof forms.
Unique collectables reflecting our housing history
You can enjoy the Construction of a Nation stamp issue further through the unique house-shaped miniature sheet – a special addition to this historic stamp issue. The first day cover and miniature sheet first day cover have been designed using architectural elements, and are not to be missed.