Our Story

Christmas 2004This is our family, Karen and I (Brian) have 5 children (3 boys Richard,Wade, Clinton & 2 girls Amy, Melissa) and together we have built an earthship. We has done everything ourselves with a little help from a few friends & wwoofers.

Some may say “Your children were too young?” and I just smile and say “I believe in child labour.” The fact of the matter is that building our earthship built more than a home, it made men out of boys and created something we are all very proud of.

Many people have asked us to share our story so here goes…

I was raised on a farm that had bush, as a child my siblings and I loved to play in it and I’d always dreamt of owning my own piece of bush someday. For 18 yrs after Karen and I married in 1984 we had a picture of native bush on our fridge. In 2002 I became very disgruntled because I couldn’t see how we could realize my dream and the picture got thrown away.

XrayIn January 2003, while having fun tramping in the bush with my 12yr old twin sons (Wade & Clinton) and some of their friends I shattered my ankle when jumping off a bridge I hit bedrock.

2 operations & 4 months later I was allowed out of hospital but still unable to walk for another 4 months. I was going crazy, Karen was at work, the kids all at school and the bed-ridden boredom was killing me.

(X-ray)  Doesn’t look to bad after been put back together again, but 8 years on and there is still discomfort with every step.

Somehow I rekindled my dream and started searching and found this bush block (which we have named “Kandoit”), just a short drive of where we were living. We bought this 7.47ha (18.5 acres) block of bush on 11th July 2003 with the intention of building a conventional retirement home here in about 2025.

We bought our caravan out here and stayed weekends and we loved it so much that we said to ourselves, “Why wait until we retire?”

We looked at many conventional homes but we thought they where to expensive and going down that track would make another dream of ours impossible, ‘to be totally debt free before I was 50. (And I can proudly say we achieved that dream when I was 48). We are by no means rich, but we have no debt and that has a richness of its own.

The idea of building a tyre house started as a joke, (we didn’t know about the earthship concept) but when I find it on the internet I was over the moon (Karen thought I was a ‘nutter’, as did most of my family and friends). I chatted online with some owners of Earthships in the USA and decided to see if we could get building consent from the Waikato District Council. They supported and encouraged the idea from day one. Once the plans were done, they were approved in 7 working days. We started building our Earthship in Dec 2004,

The rest of our progress you can see on this website. We are now approaching the finish and it has taken us 5 years. If someone had have told me it would take me this long to build I probably would never have started; I am so glad no-one told me ‘cos we love our earthship.