In Q4 2016 I was required to relocate from Samoa to New Zealand. “Thank you!” to Prime Minister Tuila’epa, for what is probably a ‘blessing’ in disguise, not that I appreciate his cowardly style though.
Writing the Wrong
In 2017 I took an idea I developed in Samoa to market – but with a mobile recording studio – helping others to “Get [their] Story Out!” as the byline. Everyone has a story. Many need assistance to get it out – envisioning, mentoring and practical. Getting the truth out there; make the world a better place; fixing the f*-ups; exposing all those “crims, crooks and crazies” – as always. That’s the basic idea.
My investigative blogging continues.
In March 2019 I purchased Taumarunui Historian and Photographer, Ron Cooke’s business Abundant Past and have helped him set this up to move forward constructively. Ron’s experience is with print; mine is web & print. He has a quarter of a million images, negatives and documents in his physical collections. I have the interest and desire to use them – web and in print.
Tiny House Workshop
In January 2017 I visited the King Country at the invitation of the Marketing Manager of Ruapehu District Council. Peggy Veen showed me around to view and discuss options for locating the Tiny House Workshop in the King Country. I worked with Colliers on an offer to the government for utilising railway land in a small King Country town. Our offer was accepted however the conditions made this unattractive for our investors. I wintered over in Kumeu kitting out our first 40′ HC container, building an engineering workshop and in June 2019 leased land in Matapuna for Abundant Past; ; the THW business and support community.
King Country Education Trust
In December 2018, I established a Charitable Trust (King Country Education Trust). I did this to help a friend (Cookie) who was in a pickle. Ron Cooke is a local photographer and renowned historian who was in a crisis with the Taumarunui Museum Trust selling the Memory Bank underneath him. With some quick-thinking we saved his massive collections of historical photographs, newspapers & documents for local retention. The trust bought them and will house them and make them available to the public for educational purposes. My book OFF THE RAILS, summarises my investigation into this messy saga and was launched at a public meeting on 4 February 2019 in Taumarunui.
SWAP Foundation. My ex-wife Debbie and I set up the SWAP Foundation to lift Samoa, post-Tsunami. We brought volunteers to Samoa to help with photography, blogging, Internet Marketing and so on. SWAP spawned several ventures:
Camp Samoa – Samoa’s first and only camping ground now totally destroyed by a Samoan family. Typical greedy conduct up there.
Samoa Village Stays
Samoa Village Stays – a hugely successful joint venture with different villages. Hosts provide accommodation and Samoan cultural experiences. We created the business and marketed their services.
WWOOF Samoa – the only WWOOFing farm in Samoa, guests previously staying at Camp Samoa, and in various other locations.
Club Samoa – a new business established in 2013 to assist with Tourism marketing.
Samoa Limousines – we imported a stretched limousine for marketing purposes. We did the occasional wedding and birthdays and sold the vehicle in December 2014.
Light Party (www.lightparty.org) A positive alternative to Halloween established by Wendy Reid, which I helped on its way and took offshore. We initially experienced strong growth within New Zealand’s churches, but it is now spreading in the UK, Canada, and the USA and out to non-church locations such as schools and YMCA. Initially funded by membership fees, Light Party is now fully donation-based. Many parents (both within the church and otherwise) are concerned about the proliferation of “hocus-pocus” on the 31st October each year. Light Party assists with a strong alternative brand, sharing ideas, experience, networking, and so on. Light Party is an idea whose time had definitely come. Hats off to Wendy for a great idea and energy to make it happen. A bit of kudos to me too for recognising the value in the concept, and the opportunity. A real labour of love, this one!
Gold Tick Services. GTS was a New Zealand company with a commercial operation developing websites in and around Samoa. We also published books and worked with our tourism partners in Samoa. Gold Tick Telecom Ltd is a Samoan telecommunications company established in 2014. Writing the Wrong has now taken over the Gold Tick operations.
GO KIWI INTERNET. I started in web design in 1997, with Netscape Navigator Gold and MS Photodraw. In 1999, I approached Jack Rosen from Gilrose Finance and suggested that he could finance websites and cutting a long story short, GKI commenced business offering a package $99.00 + GST per month on a 36 month contract. I deliberately kept the business small for years, a one-man-and-a-dog type operation, because I had had enough of the hassles of employing multiple staff – doing all the work and watching others take the money. From 1999 to 2006 when I established WDANZ, I developed over 500 commercial and charity websites, making me New Zealand’s most prolific developer by a long shot! GKI provides good websites at the lower end of the market and has always focussed on good systems to cope with high volume. A very successful little company with clients throughout New Zealand. I closed development services when I moved to Samoa and sold the clientbase in March 2011.
Web Developers Association of New Zealand – WDANZ. In May of 2006 I established WDANZ and launched it on 4 July 2006 after my initial market research showed that there was strong interest in an organisation that provided practical user-pays support services and a professional brand. Although there was initial resistance to the commercial model from some sectors, a fair degree of apathy from others and a wait-and-see attitude from yet others, an enthusiastic membership received great value and is highly supportive of our vision and what we have achieved. Rather than a voting “navel-gazing” type of organisation, destined to fail through committee decision-making (like the first one did), WDANZ was a very effective commercial organisation that provided a good clear brand for web developers to associate with and present themselves as professionals in the industry. Membership growth was steady peaking at several hundred members. I established and built the business to the point that we could appoint a General Manager – John Jones, in the 3rd quarter 2007 and I moved out of day-to-day matters December 2008 to move my focus back to Go Kiwi Internet. Most of my time for WDANZ towards the end was spent helping people buy and sell their web development companies.