The Department of Maori Affairs housing programme was established in the 1930s through the Maori Housing Act (1935) and the Maori Housing Amendment Act (1938). A special housing programme was required because a large proportion of the Maori population lived in 'deplorable' housing conditions, and it was'... impossible for the average Maori to finance a new home'1 1. J M McEwen, 'Urbanisation and the Multi-Racial Society', in R H Brookes and I H Kawharu (eds.), Administration in New Zealand's Multi-Racial Society (Wellington, 1967), p. 76. through lending institutions because they could provide neither security nor regular payments. The purposes of this study are twofold. First, to examine successive governments' Maori housing policies in the period 1935 to 1967, and discuss how these were implemented by the Department of Maori Affairs. Second, to assess their effectiveness as a provider of housing for the Maori population.