This paper presents findings from a study that includes a new investigation of the Tarikaka settlement in Wellington, New Zealand. The housing settlement was constructed in 1928-29 by the Department of Railways with the houses rented to their workers.
The settlement incorporates 67 standard design railway houses and has been listed as a Heritage Area. This paper outlines some of the physical changes to the public and private outdoor areas in the settlement since its inception. These include removal of houses to create an area of public open space and alterations to footpaths and landscaping.
Over the past 85 years, the area has experienced gentrification and the houses are now mostly privately owned. Few railway workers remain and the lifestyle of the present inhabitants is very different from that of the original inhabitants. In order to explore these changes in lifestyle, oral interviews with older New Zealanders have been used to construct a consistent picture of housing and lifestyle during the 1930s and 1940s which has then been compared with other studies and contemporary literature. Use of the outdoor areas and transportation to and from the house are topics discussed. Oral interviews with present inhabitants of the houses have been used to reveal how the houses and the public and private outdoor areas are used today, following the same format as the interviews with the older New Zealanders.
This paper concludes by presenting an overview of these lifestyle changes and explores some of the implications of these for the public and private outdoor areas of the settlement.