Come and help us with some building and gardening in Canterbury, New Zealand


New Zealand


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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    This listing is now for a builder/carpenter and gardener, for a good dig of the vegetable garden, getting it ready for the spring and summer, plus battening and lining an area of a barn and possibly helping with a couple of pergolas and small decks. We may also build a sleepout for workawayers to sleep in if we get the right person to help with this.

    Also for someone who has been in the country during lockdown and not someone who has just arrived from overseas, please. Sorry, we are very careful about the Covid-19 and want a person who is equally as careful.

    Hi, we are an older couple who enjoy meeting people from other walks of life. We live on a lifestyle block about 38 kms north of Christchurch and need a little help with some chores/work around the house and garden. We enjoy hearing about people's cultures and their life experiences. We are non-smokers and this is definitely a non-smoking home and environment.

    We have several cats, all rescued, and all who understand English, Truly!!! A rascal of a dog, and 4 sweet alpacas which are pets. We share some of our land with our daughter, who lives next door, as she has several cattle to run. We do eat some of these cattle beasts.

    We are a fairly laid back couple and enjoy a leisurely lifestyle with the occasional/regular burst of activity.

    Our main need is for someone who is a carpenter or builder for a building/lining project as well as helping with making some pergolas and some decking.

    If it is a couple then we can use someone with just a general knowledge of gardening/weeding and the ability to dig over a vegetable garden. Also to help with putting in a pipeline so we can run taps from our water tank to water the thousands of trees we have planted and various other projects as they come up. General tidying up of our storage areas.

    Because our car is for our own use only (sorry) a workawayer would need their own transport, especially when house/pet sitting.

    There is definitely work to be done on the lifestyle block, but if we have done a couple or three days of work and there is a beautiful day and a picnic to be had, then that is great. Off we go.

    We have turned most of our place back into a park like sanctuary. We have wild ducks who bring their babies to live on our ponds in the Spring and they stay until their offspring learn to fly. It is so nice to just watch them go about their parental duties. We have lots of other birdlife and finally have got our first Bellbird and fantails flit around when it is their season, with swallows nesting in our other barn.

    Sorry people, this isn't suitable for vegans as we are totally a meat eating household, who grow their own beef for eating. We are also surrounded by animals which are being grown for eating, which may be unpleasant for a vegan/vegetarian. Most of our meals are of meat, eggs, cheese and milk to drink etc. We have our own vegetable garden although it is in need of a dig as we have put a layer of chicken manure on the top to fertilize it for Spring.

    We are looking for anyone, single or a couple, from 2-3 weeks to longer term, if we get along well together. Both my husband, Sam, and I like a home that is filled with laughter, kindness, honesty, willing help, and reciprocal respect. We do want someone who is really looking to help around our lifestyle block and not just a casual stop before you get full time work.

    Sorry we also like television to relax to at night. We are late to bed and later to rise - usually around 11.00 p.m. and up at 8.00 a.m.

    As we were home hosts for language students for 17 years we are used to people who don't have English as a first language and I would be willing to help with this. Sam is very quiet and shy so he keeps well clear of this activity. Haha.

    Well I don't know what else I can say except "Hope to hear from you soon!!"

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Help in the house
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    I think I have said it all in the above chapters. But language help/correction can be offered in conjunction with working, if required, so learning language while you work. Also joining in with some older folks who have a wealth of knowledge between them and having a good laugh. No pessimists allowed! haha. Learning about which are weeds and which are plants. How to do some plumbing if you don't mind some colourful language from Sam as he hates connecting water but has to do it. And gaining experience in other things on our lifestyle block or just about life, if you are that way inclined. People with initiative are very welcome. Plus many other things, which we are usually helping with anyway. We would like someone who is interested in being with us and having an interesting reciprocal conversation but not just using us for a cheap accommodation stop.

  • Help


    We have a new barn that, once lined, could be used as a large sitting room for workers if they don't wish to share with us. So an experienced builder would be very desirable.

    besides the carpentry/building, it is just general help that we need, we can't always lift heavier things now. Helping build new gardens, weeding, watering the trees when there is very little rain, tidying up around the place when it needs it. Helping us with an oriental garden we are in the process of making plus other maintenance work in the garden.

    At this time neither Sam nor I can envisage a 25 hour week so perhaps we can work that out between our prospective workaway person and us. Perhaps sometimes we may work longer and then other times we would work shorter hours. It is a matter of respect or give and take perhaps, but not taking advantage.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    There are two types of accommodation. We have an older caravan which can sleep a couple or just one person and use of the barn with the sitting room (once it is lined) plus shower/toilet etc in this area. Definitely NO sleeping in the barn/sitting room area but the caravan is just opposite the doorway. Sleeping in the barn is an action which we would evict the person for as it endangers our insurance and is against our Council rules.

    Due to water restrictions showers are to be one a day and definitely limited to 10 minutes only.

    Or there is a master bedroom in the house which has an en suite, with king size bed. Again due to water restrictions showers are to be one a day and definitely limited to 10 minutes only.

    If you are working hard and giving to us as we would be giving to you then all three meals would be supplied. Nothing elaborate as I am a plain cook. Breakfast would be porridge (on it's own), cornflakes or ricies etc. with some toast and jam. Any additions to be supplied by workawayer. Make or supply your own muesli or if you want a lot of additives to your oats then please supply these yourself. Lunch would be sandwiches, with peanut butter, jam, cheese or similar. Evening meal can be the full main meal with meat etc. or sometimes easy, casual things like an omelette or cheese on toast etc. We would expect you to pay for any meals we bought while out, e.g MacDonalds, pub/hotel meals but anything we cook in our home is included in your accommodation.

    ALL fresh fruit, alcohol, soft drinks, candy and fancy biscuits etc. is to be supplied by workawayer, if they want it.

    And .....also whoever does the cooking doesn't do the washing up.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We live a short distance from several lovely walks/hikes in the mountains, not far from a river, which does dry up in the summer, There are mountain bike tracks nearby, own mountain bikes required. You would also need your own transport to get to the township which is about 8 kms away, although occasionally, depending on the length of your stay we may take you on a sightseeing trip to the mountains or to Kaikoura and the East coast. The views here, at our house, are really beautiful - we look over farmland straight out to the Southern Alps which are about 45 minutes to 1 hour away. The beach is about 30 kms away. Christchurch is about 38 kms away. There are many activities in this whole area, too many to list. Suggest you read travel brochures on what to do in the North Canterbury area, as well as Christchurch, Banks Peninsula and Selwyn area.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours/day, 5 days/week maximum

One of our ponds
Ben and Tasha our first Workaways
Sunset to the West of our house
Snowfall in 2012
The Alpacas gossiping with the Cows next door
Our cat Tilli posing for the photo
Seeker playing in the tinsel
Very timid Blondie being very laid back
3 of the alpacas lookin towards the west and the Alps
Jessie, posing for me
Guest bedroom

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 366313856918