David Tangye

New Zealand

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Current projects, engagements and interests

#3d design and printing #arduino #crypto #database #flask #handyman #housesitting #iot #javascript #minimalism #project management #python #quality #software #systems consulting #tiny homes

My New Zealand Diary

A few brief notes here until I start blogging again.


After 35 years overseas, mainly in Australia (Gold Coast since 2002), I arrived back in New Zealand 26 November, along with my stuff packed into two vans in a shipping container. I had been following foreigners in China who were posting on Youtube about what became Covid-19. By the time I got to New Zealand I was well aware of its severity, and was double-pleased to be getting here. I had already decided that there was a good change of a very severe global economic crash somewhere in the near future, along with potential severe environmental problems and had decided that New Zealand would be a better place to weather these storms than Australia.


I started the year with family near Wellington, waiting for one of my vans ("Te Hinanui", a Renault Master, which had been fitted out for living in) to be certified for New Zealand's roads. When this was finally completed, I travelled to Auckland to take possession, and it has been my mobile home since then.

Three weeks after getting the van, New Zealand went into Covid level 4 lockdown. I drove to Auckland to weather it out looking after a large catamaran off Te Atatu. For those 6 odd weeks of level 4 lockdown, I was the sole human out on the top of Auckland harbour. I had the entire place to myself. When permitted by the movew to level 3, I got a backpacker out onto the boat, for company, and to help with all sorts of maintenance and general work on it.

When level 3 lockdown ended I found the "TapLab" makerspace in the Te Atatu community centre. I joined it and have been based out of there on and off since then. TapLab is a similar group to the Gold TechSpace that I helped run in its early years from 2012, with a friend who founded it.

Current - 2021...

Auckland went into Covid lockdown again in February, so I spent an excellent 2 months in the far north during autumn. I made several visits to Kawakawa (probably one of the the best freedom camping spots in the North Island), worked in a packhouse in Kerikeri for three weeks (that was enough: it was way too strenuous for my aged bones and muscles), and cruised Doubtless Bay to Kaitaia and the North Cape.

Doubtless Bay joins the Matakana area as a favourite place to possibly move more permanently to ... one day.

For winter I worked on a few projects back down in Auckland, including some house renovating: some floor tiling, replacing internal walls, painting etc.

When New Zealand went into Covid level 4 lockdown again in August I had nowhere suitable to park up in Auckland, so I again drove to Northland. This time I parked up on a property in Hukerenui, north of Whangarei, where I have been kept busy renovating a house that squatter/tenants had recently trashed (more tiling, fairing and painting, and replacing bits of walls).

As of 9th November: I have been here for 3 months, and as each week passes I am getting more settled right here. From early October, the weather here has actually been better here than what we would get on the Gold Coast, in my opinion. While the Gold Coast probably has the best weather overall in Australia, the bottom line is that is really too hot from early October right through until late March. It, or the northern hemisphere might be good alternatives to New Zealand for June throughn until late September though. That might be an option if and when Covid is under control.

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