Video: Sustainable living in a tiny house on wheels, take a tour of Cam and Amanda’s sweet tiny home


A tiny house that includes upcycled parts of a state home is the first step towards sustainable living for an Auckland couple.

Words Claire McCall Photos Sally Tagg

This is a special extract from our new special edition In Your Backyard: Living Lightly

A tiny house on a parklike lawn where Auckland’s West Coast winds sway through the branches of a sentinel Norfolk pine is a rewind to the way New Zealanders used to live: more land, less capital-consuming built volume. Owners Amanda Morrissey-Brown (27) and Cam Watson (28) are proud pioneers of this turning-back-the-clock existence. Rich in contentment, untrammelled by a weighty mortgage, day-by-day they try to live more simply.

Camanda tiny house on wheels

Amanda, a fine-art specialist, and Cam, an engineering geologist, have been enjoying tiny-house life since May 2018. They know the numbers by rote: 26sqm of floor area including the mezzanine (the house is 8m long, 2.6m wide and 4.2m high). Cost? Approximately $130,000. Their decision to abandon flatting was driven by heart and head.

Camanda tiny house on wheels

“We had been together seven years and were ready for our own space,” says Amanda. “But we didn’t have enough for a regular home deposit.”
As the pair began exploring alternative-living choices, they happened upon the “love shack”, a concept developed by Whangarei builder Marcel Syron. Custom-built on a trailer to road-code specifications, the home with its loft-like bedroom, ingenious secret storage, and loads of light has everything they need — no more, no less. They fell head over heels.

This is an extract from our new special edition In Your Backyard: Living Lightly

In Your Backyard: Living Lightly is filled with practical advice on making small steps to a lighter footprint.

  • Smart, efficient small spaces
  • Tiny house lessons
  • Organic gardening
  • Raise chickens & keep bees in the city
  • Green energy ideas
  • Make your own sourdough & cheese
  • Fermenting for beginners
  • Upcycle, recycle, refresh and renew

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