David Tangye

New Zealand

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Current projects, engagements and interests

#3d design and printing #arduino #crypto #database #flask #handyman #house-sitting #iot #minimalism #project management #OpenUP #python #quality #software #systems consulting #tiny homes

Personal Diary - New Zealand

Since returning to New Zealand...


After 35 years overseas, mainly in Australia (Gold Coast since 2002), I arrived back in New Zealand 26 November, along with my essential worldly goods, clothes, handyman tools, electronic and computer parts, old sailing and scuba gear, electric bike parts, all packed into two vans in a shipping container. I had been following the Youtube channel of Serpenza and C-Milk (Winston and Matthew, who had been posting videos from China for a few years. Winstone had taught a school of medical students in Shenzhen a few years previously, and they were now sending him videos of people being surreptitiously taken away out from their apartment blocks in Wuhan, with what was soon to be identified globally as 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 chance of a very severe global economic crash somewhere in the near future, along with potential severe environmental problems, so I had decided that New Zealand would be a better place to weather these storms than Australia. Plus I had decided that political leadership in Australia was becoming far too openly self-serving, if not downright corrupt, for me to want to be there.

As of 2022, this inevitable economic meltdown has been postponed by all western countries as they have shut their activities down and also printed and pumped ever increasing quantities of money into their economies, further running their sovereign debts to ever more massive levels. More knowledgable people, including those who are traditionally more 'mainstream' and conservative, are voicing grave concern about this as we move back to a hopefully more open, less locked-down, world of 2022.)


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, living aboard and looking after a 20 metre power 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 transition to level 3, I got a backpacker out onto the boat, for company, and to help with all sorts of maintenance and general work.

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.


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 bsusy renovating a house that squatter/tenants had recently trashed. This involved more tiling, fixing holes in walls then fairing and painting, plus all sorts of general handyman work.

From early October, the weather here has actually been better 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 through until late September though. That might be an option if and when Covid is under control.

2022 (updated to May)...

At the end of 2021, I moved to an adjacent farming property, still in Hukerenui. I have passed a very pleasant summer and early there so far, and am now looking at remaining there over winter. I am currently developing a product management software system for use in the UK, while continuing to get a bit of physical exercise helping out around the farm that I am parked on.

I finally gained possession of my second van, although it is still not registered for New Zealand roads. I found that the speedo was dead. After 3 months I finally worked out that someone had put extra tansmission fluid into the gearbox. This had led to both the speedo sensor and the manual override hold in low gears not operating. Todo: drain the gearbox still further and hope the latter issue disappears. I will need to fix some light rust, and get it certified, perhaps over the course of winter if there are a couple of warm days, and I don't get too busy elsewhere.

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