This table underscores the dominance of wood as a building material in New Zealand housing until the 1970s. In 1916, 94% of all New Zealand houses were built of wood and iron (corrugated iron was often used as a cladding material on the side of houses because it was fire-resistant). This had fallen to 56% by 1976, as brick, stone and concrete buildings increased their share. The table shows how some materials, such as canvas, fell out of use, while others like asbestos and stucco became fashionable.
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Source: New Zealand census, 1878-1976