A man and a woman with a baby stand in front of their shelter at Heathfield settlement in the Catlins district of Otago about 1900. The dwelling is made of tree-fern trunks with a corrugated-iron roof. It must have been cold in the winter. The nuclear family became the most common form of family in rural colonial New Zealand. Husbands and wives had to look to one another for support, because the tough conditions and distance from established settlements made it unlikely that older parents would accompany them to such places.
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