Help with our home renovation project in sunny Gisborne, New Zealand


New Zealand


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  • Description


    Update for summer 2020. Please check the calendar. Cheers

    After a busy December and January we are now open to taking workawayers again. We would like to hear from you if you are able to help us scrape old lino off the floor and wallpaper off the walls. We'd also like you to be able and willing to cook and clean which is almost as equally important to us given we are sharing our living space. We mention the latter as we have had a few workawayers who were a bit shy of these tasks and its not what we need or want. You'll also be sleeping in our caravan as we juggle space with renovations in the main living areas. Depending on how things are going we might be able to accomodate you for longer than a week.

    Kia Ora! We're Joy and Muz and we live in sunny Gisborne on the East coast of Aotearoa. We moved here from Wellington for the sun, surf and lifestyle. We bought a house that we are renovating and this would be the main reason we are seeking help on Workaway. As we both work full time we are slowly getting things done. With your help however, we might be able to get through our list a little quicker! I have been a workawayer/wwoofer myself on my travels around the world and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Now it is our turn to host and teach and share.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Art project
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Well if you're coming all the way to the south pacific we can show you what life is like to live in an isolated part of the world in an isolated part of the country!
    Gisborne or Gizzy -as it is affectionately known- is an almost even mix of Pakeha and Maori and this gives it quite a different feel to other parts of the country. Maori culture is strong here, with kapa haka (performing arts) and the visual Maori arts such as raranga (weaving) and whakairo (carving) all easily accessible.
    I am an Artist myself who has studied the art of raranga and I also have a fine arts degree where I majored in sculpture. I'm more of a hardware retail worker for now but I could possibly teach you some basic weaving at some point. I also have a sculpture project that I would like to get finished at some stage but house stuff is the priority for now.
    Muz is quite an able builder although not an official one. He's really practical and gets jobs done. I'm the artistic director and he'd be the technical so we're quite a good team really.
    We're both into surfing, which Gizzy is well known for so if you want to learn the basics there we can help out for sure. Or maybe you'll be able to teach us how to surf better! We're open to always exchanging knowledge about anything and everything as we all learn from one another.

  • Help


    We need practical people who are handy with their hands and want to give a little of their love and goodness to our little whare (house) ! So general construction, renovation and restoration type activities as well as round the house stuff. Garden bed prep, chopping wood, stripping wallpaper, sanding, painting, weeding, cooking, cleaning etc. All fairly basic stuff really.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English and basic Te Reo

  • Accommodation


    Own room with queen size bed and drawers to use if you need. We also have a caravan option if you'd like to have your own little space. We're only able to take 2 at this stage if you're a couple who'd be sharing the bed and room.
    As far as food goes, we're happy to provide all basic meals but would appreciate a hand with the cooking and cleaning obviously. We eat a mixture of meat and vegetarian meals. If you have dietary requirements needing specialised food outside of this you'll have to fend for yourself. You'll also need to buy your own alcohol if you like to drink more than a glass or 2 and your own snacks, i.e bags of potato chips, chocolate etc.

    Some additional notes due to recent experiences we've had. We are not interested in hosting you if you plan to do paid work and squeeze in the workaway stuff around it. You should also tell us if you have any major injuries or chronic pain that will affect what you are able to help us with. We are also not looking to pay people if they want to make it a 40 hour week instead of 25. Its a food and board exchange for 4-5 hours of your day. So in other words be honest from the start or we will ask you to leave. In my own experiences as a workawayer I would never turn up and then get the host to compromise around my dishonesty. This is not what workaway is about.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Gizzy has beautiful beaches with great surfing spots. There's some local walks with historical information. We have bikes available to use if we're not on them ourselves but you'll have to bring your own surfboard or hire one from a shop. We'd like to clarify that we're happy to hang out and show you around etc but not all of the time as we need our time too.
    We're pretty easy to get along with and enjoy having people come and stay. All we ask is that you be considerate to sharing our house with us. That's what we'd ask of anyone, including our family!

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Staying shaded on another hot Gizzy day
On the Gizzy railbike adventure
On another weekend getaway with "Fernie" our beloved caravan.
Joy at a local pottery class
Us at Paritutu rock in Taranaki
Muzza catching a friendly wave
A Kete with a handle and tiki made by Joy
Some more of Joy's weaving.
Joy getting ready to load and unload another truck full of plants on the forklift.
Us with our visiting Welsh mates at Splore festival
Muz at the entrance to the Tolaga Bay wharf. We like to explore the east coast region, its a great spot.
Muz with one of the huge saw blades he maintains at work. He's a Saw doctor by trade.
Muz and Joy off to the Gisborne races.

Host ref number: 463699344747