Within the framework of the comparison of planning theory and practice, the thesis explores the implications of the statement that the planning process of the Housing Division, Ministry of Works (now part of the Housing Corporation) for its residential subdivisions , is not one based on a theoretically rational model but on a series of ad hoc decisions, framed by current government policy or lack of policy and derived from the accummulated experience of the personnel involved. Chapter One investigates the theoretical models of the planning process including comprehensive, structure, advocacy and systems-approach planning and theories which are more closely related to the actual practic of organisations and personnel involved in planning and decision-making. The planning and subdivision development operations of the Housing Division are described in Chapter Two where it is identified that within the planning role there are no formal steps corresponding to a comprehensive-rational model, nor, if the advocacy approach is followed is there evidence of a comprehensive understanding of the wants and desires of the underprivileged populace the Division is housing. Housing Division staff were administered an informal questionnaire on the planning of State house subdivisions which confirmed that a development process aimed at constructing a number of houses within an annual programme is adhered to, rather than a planning process. The planning and development by the Housing Division of the Sherriff Block, Gisborne, is used as a case study, showing a lack of goal and objective formation and feedback of information and a similarity with an incremental decision-making process. Chapter Three makes a tentative assessment of a State house subdivision, namely, the Sherriff Block, Gisborne. Based on a questionnaire of the residents, comparison of the characteristics of the Sherriff Block is made with other research on State housing and some of the factors affecting satisfaction with living in the Block are presented. Housing, shopping, educational and recreational facilities are examined and the process of residential development is outlined. The conclusion further defines problem areas in State housing, notes recent developments and suggests greater use of structured planning units and the adoption of a comprehensive-rational planning process.