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We hold very few plans for individual state houses. If you are looking for plans about a specific property, such as building and drainage plans, the best place to start is with Kāinga Ora.

Kāinga Ora holds between 20,000 and 30,000 microfiche plans of state houses built between 1937 and 1987. To learn more about what they hold and how to access it, visit the Kāinga Ora website. You can request information about a specific property by emailing Kāinga Ora at enquiries1@kaingaora.govt.nz

Photographs of state house plans

In Wellington we hold a set of plans for the different styles of state houses built between the late 1930s and the 1960s [Series 6114]. These are photographs of plans on cards and organised by the type of house. They are not 'as-built' plans and do not contain specific property information, so you will need to know the House No. or style of the state house to find a matching plan.

You may be able to find the House No. in other documents about the property. If you don’t know the House No. then you can look through the list of 535 plans at the bottom of this page.

Housing Corporation index cards

In Wellington we also hold a national set of Housing Corporation Index Cards [Series 852]. These do not include plans, but they may help you find the House No. or type of house.

These contract cards record every state house built for the State Advances/Housing Corporation from 1937-1986. The cards vary in content, but most will give the names of the contractor, the general location of the unit/s, house type, section number, and start and completion dates. Some cards include a street address, but not always. They do not include financial information.

State house plans – Canterbury

In Christchurch we hold some layout plans of completed state housing blocks [Accession CH195 Folders 33-36]. These plans give the name of the suburb, block, street, contract numbers (which gives other information about the development of the block), the number of lots, and the number of the house plan. You can browse the entire series on Archway, or find them by searching with a suburb or street name. Street numbers are not given, but if you know the location of the house in the block you will be able to locate the house on the plan, and the plan number to follow up in accessions CH63 and CH93.

We also hold information about the location of state houses in the main centres of the South Island [Accession CH195 Folders 15-29]. These are useful if you don’t know the exact location of a house and will help you locate the right block plan in accession CH195.

Standard plans of the different types of state houses can be found in two series of miscellaneous Housing Corporation plans [Accession CH63 and Accession CH93]. Like the national set of state house plans held in Wellington [Series 6114], these plans are not linked to a specific address, but can be accessed through CH195. As these are not as-built plans there are often differences between the standard plan and the house that was built. For Canterbury properties, a rough sketch may be found in the Housing Corporation Valuation Sheets [Accession CH425 - restrictions apply].

State house plans - Otago

In Dunedin we hold state house plans for government-built houses in the Otago region from 1937 to 1992 [Series D491]. These include structural, site and drainage plans with house design numbers, legal descriptions and street addresses. You can browse the entire series on Archway, or find them by searching with a street address or legal description.

Other state housing records

We hold thousands of archives relating to different aspects of state housing, including items from the Housing Division of the Ministry of Works, the State Advances Corporation, Housing Corporation of New Zealand and Housing New Zealand Ltd. Other government agencies also owned or managed state houses over time, including the Police, Education, Māori Affairs, the Post Office, and Corrections. These can be found by searching Archway with relevant keywords.

As well as correspondence, documents, reports, maps and plans, we also hold thousands of photographs of state housing. More information on state housing photographs can be found in our Photography research guide.

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