Carpentry in New Zealand: a text book for use by apprentices




Carpentry – Handbooks, manuals, Architecture, New Zealand, Aotearoa, History, 20th Century


The 1953 National Housing Conference explored a wide range of ways of dealing with the problems of post-WW II housing, including reducing the costs of construction. The New Zealand Master Builders' Federation in its conference proposal was clear that one way to reduce costs was by a skilled and educated workforce. They noted the need for "an authoritative text-book on carpentry and joinery, based on New Zealand building practice," and their proposal was adopted as Conference Resolution 17. A committee was formed to guide the content and form of the book, and anonymous staff from the Technical Correspondence School prepared the text. Geoffrey Nees (architect of Kelburn, Wellington) employed five draughtsmen to complete the nearly 500 illustrations. The 1948 book The Australian Carpenter by C Lloyd and the New Zealand Army Education Welfare Service (AEWS) series of five carpentry booklets formed the basis for this new book, which focused on the syllabus of the New Zealand Trade Certificate.
Carpentry in New Zealand was published in June 1958 and was an immediate success with 33,600 copies printed by September 1973. A new cover and conversion to metric units occurred in 1977, with the third edition published in 1980. The final printing was in 1987.


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How to Cite

Isaacs, N. (2015). Carpentry in New Zealand: a text book for use by apprentices. Architectural History Aotearoa, 12, 7–16.

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