Humble Special
HOME|February 2020
Humble Special
PAC Studio designs a home on a tiny budget in the bush above the Kaipara Harbour.
Simon Farrell-Green

In recent years, aspiring first-home buyers in Auckland without a million or two to spend have been faced with a stark choice: move out or give up. In doing the former, some found a lifestyle that turned out to be better than the one they’d left behind – as the owner of this modest home by PAC Studio discovered. “I was working six days a week and I realised I needed to change my life,” he says. “I changed my diet, started doing yoga – and the house was an extension to that.”

It started with the section, up a very fetching arm of the Kaipara Harbour near Pahi, which the owner found one afternoon quite by accident while visiting the area. His is one of nine sections in a small enclave carved out of 3870 square metres of regenerating native bush, with a share in a large reserve, and it cost less than the average Auckland renovation. The cute seaside village of Pahi is nearby, as are the townships of Maungaturoto and Paparoa. There’s a good local pub and an excellent weekly farmers’ market.

Tucked down a long, curving, bush-lined driveway, the site is private and gently sloping. At the time of purchase, a bund of soil was piled up close to the top of the gentle slope, which obscured the view of the Kaipara Harbour and made it feel claustrophobic – but the view from the top was magical.

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February 2020