Story: Suburbs

Types of suburban housing

The style and layout of suburban houses has changed over time. A 19th-century worker’s cottage (1), typical of inner-city areas such as Te Aro in Wellington, had an outdoor washhouse and toilet. The toilet had no plumbing but contained a large can, emptied by a weekly collection. The Californian bungalow (2) was the suburban home of choice for most first-time home buyers in the 1920s. Early bungalows had external access to washing and toileting facilities, but these were now connected to the house. The English-cottage-style state house (3) was typical of thousands built in new suburbs immediately after the Second World War. By this time the bathroom, toilet and washhouse (laundry) had come inside.

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

Source: Malcolm McKinnon, ed. Bateman New Zealand historical atlas: ko papatuanuku e takoto nei. Auckland: David Bateman, 1997, plate 74; Jeremy Ashford, The bungalow in New Zealand. Auckland: Penguin, 1994, p. 29

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Suburbs - Life in the suburbs', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 May 2022)

Story by Mark Derby, published 11 Mar 2010