The Skinner family - mother, father and small boy - became the first tenants of the state housing scheme at Orakei when they moved in on Christmas Eve, attended by a crowd of 300 people including Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage.

With a fine sense of political timing Savage addressed the crowd, reeling off the impressive statistics of the state housing scheme started by his government: 6000 jobs created since March that year, tenders called for 2300 houses in 56 towns and 1.5 million spent.

"We are trying to cater for everyone," said Savage.

"We do not claim perfection, but we do claim a considerable advance on what has been done in the past."


When the speeches were over, Savage and the other dignitaries took off their coats and helped to move the Skinners' furniture into their new home.

After World War II governments were building 10,000 state houses a year and the principle of social housing remains in the 21st century, embodied in the Housing New Zealand Corporation.

For fulfilling the housing promise of his election manifesto and for leaving a legacy that has touched the lives of generations, Savage is again our New Zealander of the Year.