Amanda Chapman's tiny home has taken her on a journey through Auckland's sharing economy.
The 28-year-old has been building the house over the past two years using all borrowed or hired tools thanks to the community phenomenon many believe is key to the future of New Zealand.
The experience is defined as "a peer-to-peer-based activity of acquiring, providing or sharing access to goods and services that are facilitated by a community-based online platform".
As people find ways to lessen the impact of overconsumption on our environment and our wallets, social media and dedicated apps are allowing growing numbers to share often-underused resources including their vehicles, tools, clothes and food. Open street pantries dotted around the city encourage children with no lunch to take to school to take food.
Chapman has borrowed tools from family, friends and workmates since she started building her 7.2m x 2.5m home in central Auckland in 2017.
They include a circular saw, drill set, extension ladder, wire trimmer, saw horses, caulking gun, tin snips, sander, level, chalk line and hammer. The net extended to the loan of a scaffold tower off a neighbour of her flatmate's work colleague.
"I just didn't see the point in buying tools because I knew I would only be using them for a short time and I had nowhere to store them once I finished my tiny house," says Chapman, who has a post-graduate diploma in environmental science from Auckland University and works in operations for a compost collection company.
"When you think about the ownership of a single item, there's the carbon [footprint] of making it and transporting it, and then the storage of you housing that item. It just makes so much more sense for things to be shared between people."
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Inside my tiny house, Earnie ❤ This is my main sleeping loft, with my bathroom underneath and a galley kitchen! It's a bit messy while I'm still building. Yes that's a hole on the ceiling, but it's just the thermal break and is easily fixed! (The thermal break is so difficult to attach with any slight wind!) More info can be found on my blog, including the meaning behind the name. http://www.wastefreeland.nz/2018/05/tiny-house-materials/
A post shared by Amanda Chapman (@amandawastefree) on
She has sourced much of the building materials second-hand or for free for the home, which has cost $35,000 so far.
"My cladding I got either second-hand or seconds from the shop.
"A lot of my insulation, I've used surplus from other people who have been insulating larger houses.
"My handbasin in my bathroom actually appeared on my porch one day. One of my neighbours was renovating their house and had a tiny bathroom handbasin and they just dropped it off at my tiny house."
The house will allow her to live off-grid. It will have solar power, gas hot water, rainwater collection, and a bathtub.
Chapman has mainly done the building work herself, with a little bit of help from her grandfather and friends.
She is now working on the home's interior and hopes to be living in it by next year.
Chapman's experience inspired her and her partner, Tom Greer, to set up the Auckland Library of Tools, a Kingsland-based project allowing people to borrow tools from a shared library of mostly-donated items.
It started in March with a $2000 grant from the Waitematā Local Board – about the price of one set of power tools.
The library now includes power, woodwork and construction tools, lawnmowers and gardening equipment, an overlocker, portable gas barbecue and a food dehydrater.
Members, who pay $40 a quarter or $85 a year (those rates are reduced for students and community service holders), can borrow up to 10 tools for seven days at a time.
Many haven't used such implements before, some have never mowed a lawn, so instructions are given on how to use the items.
The tool library sits in a corner of makerspace Hackland, a community-run workshop for people to share tools and knowledge.
Hackland's array of equipment includes automated furniture-making and woodworking machinery, lathes, laser cutters, 3D printers, metalworking tools, overlockers and heavy-duty sewing machines, welding machines, sanders and soldering irons.
There is a shared community spirit.
Hearing Chapman's car lock was broken, one of the Hackland members showed her how to take the door apart and fix the problem.
"All it was, was that a wire had come off.
"[But] I would have paid several hundred bucks to get it fixed."
Members encourage and learn from watching each other using the makerspace's equipment, says Hackland co-founder Joran Kikke.
They have made such things as a cardboard air conditioner, a collapsible wooden dinghy, an indoor aquaponics system, a self-steering system for a boat, theatre sets and a large art installation for Kiwiburn – New Zealand's Burning Man.
The workspace is open 24/7 to members, who pay $15 a week or whatever they can afford. Casual use is by koha.
Kikke, a software developer by trade, helped set up Hackland in 2017.
It is billed as a "nest of tech, art, creativity and freedom".
"You can just hang out and there are materials and tools and you can create stuff together," he says.
"That's oddly missing from society."
Chapman is no stranger to the sharing economy. In 2016, she was behind the Community Fridge at the Griffiths Gardens in central Auckland. Anyone can drop off excess food for another person to take.
A similar movement is the Pātaka Kai open street pantry movement.
Wooden pantries are being set up on neighbourhood streets and locals stocking them with what food they can give, for others to take what they need.
The first pantry was put up outside her Otara home in July last year by founder and chief executive Swanie Nelson.
There are now nearly 120 registered pantries, open 24/7, from Kaitaia to Gore and more than 50 others being built.
Nelson started the movement because she "firmly believes in the community looking after themselves", says Leroy Thompson, Pātaka Kai's Auckland lead.
Locals wanting to stock pantries "might have a couple of extra dollars, so they'll buy noodles or they'll buy some canned food and just drop it in".
"A lot of people have fruit left over on their trees.
"Quite often on a daily basis if you were to sit outside one of the pantries you'll see lines of kids.
"Some people will pre-pack maybe 20 or 30 lunches every day and put them into the pantry. So these kids can just walk past, grab their lunch or grab some fruit and go to school."
The generosity and the need in the communities mean such sights are "heartwarming and heart-wrenching at the same time".
The grassroots movement is fostering a sense of togetherness.
"Once you've got a pantry on a street, everybody sort of takes ownership of it, not just that one house. It's amazing."
Pātaka Kai is helping show how much better off communities, and the lives of the people in them, can be when assets are shared, Thompson says.
The movement's ethos is based on a Māori proverb – Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi, which means: With your food basket and my food basket, the people will be well nourished.
When the landscape architect helping reshape the heart of Auckland decided to tidy his own home, he set off on a journey through the city's sharing economy.
Cam Perkins wanted to prune the hedges at his rented Ponsonby flat but "didn't want to spend all day with a pair of clippers doing it".
He was reluctant, however, to buy a hedge trimmer he might rarely use again.
Searching online, he discovered the Auckland Library of Tools.
Collecting the electric trimmer was another exercise in collaborative consumption.
Perkins has been consciously car-free since moving from Australia two years ago to work for Auckland Council, where he heads the city centre design team for the Auckland Design Office.
"I took a long hard look at my consumption, at the sort of things that I owned, and how I was moving around cities," says Perkins, who previously designed hotels and resorts around the world.
"I rely on the bus, I rely on my bike, and (carsharing service) Cityhop.
"It's about less ownership and a more efficient way for people to be able to share their resources."
"Even down to my bike - it's on a ride-share lease."
Perkins, 40, "biked to the Cityhop, locked the bike up, jumped in the car, picked up the hedge trimmer, dropped that at home, parked the car and rode away again".
"It's certainly more steps than someone who just had to hop in their car would have to do.
"But for me, it just makes a whole lot more sense, because I don't need a car through the week."
The sharing economy is the way of the future for Auckland, says Perkins, whose team guides the transformational design of the booming city centre including preparing it for Apec and the America's Cup in 2021.
"If we start to think about the way our city is growing and the rate at which it's growing, we're really quickly running out of space."
Seeing Auckland's traffic woes worsen despite more roads being built inspired Victoria Carter to found carsharing service Cityhop in 2007.
"If we wanted to do something about congestion and have a more liveable city with lots more people living in it, we wouldn't keep adding cars," says the former Auckland City councillor, who restarted the Auckland Arts Festival.
"Every Cityhop car removes 14 private cars off the road as people sell their car and multiple people use our cars all day."
Cityhop has about 150 vehicles nationally, mostly in Auckland and Wellington.
They are parked in dedicated spaces and carparks around the cities, where about 6000 members access them from $9.50 an hour upwards.
Half of Cityhop's members are businesses, who use the service in place of fleet cars.
Cityhop has vans for moving house, big and small cars with baby seats, dog hammocks and roof racks to offer alternatives to owning a second or larger vehicle, Carter says.
"Car share members use public transport, walking and biking 50 per cent more than when they owned a car.
"They save money not owning a car too."
With Kiwis having one of the world's highest rates of car ownership but those vehicles sitting idle most of the time, Oscar Ellison started Yourdrive in 2015.
The carsharing company lets people rent out their personal vehicles.
"In Auckland in particular, we're seeing more and more people walking, cycling, or taking public transport to work," Ellison says.
"So a lot of people are leaving their cars at home for five days a week.
"They've got an asset, which is usually their second most expensive after their house, that they could put to work and earn a bit of cash off.
"Our top owners earn upwards of $5000 [a year] - people have done that on a $5000 car."
Yourdrive has about 450 vehicles on its books around the country, about half in Auckland.
They include vans, SUVs and cars from early-2000s hatchbacks to late-model Range Rovers and a Tesla Model S.
Rental prices on the day the Herald on Sunday checked were from $6 an hour or $25 a day for a 2008 Toyota Prius hybrid, through to $50 an hour or $200 a day for a 2017 Audi S3.
The sharing economy is also a trend in the fashion world, with women renting designer dresses at a fraction of the purchase price.
Shortly after having her second baby, Bre Poulter, 22, was invited to an event to which she "wanted to wear something amazing".
But she couldn't fit into any of her going-out clothes, and "didn't have the budget like my friends did who didn't have any responsibilities" to buy a new high-end outfit.
Thinking there must be others in similar situations, she made a pitch to her mother and now business partner, and launched Lend the Label in April 2016.
The Christchurch-based online company hires out dresses to women around the country.
Lend the Label has about 200 dresses from a range of Kiwi and Australian designers, including Zimmermann, Alice McCall, Natalie Rolt, and Sisters the Label.
Costing about $200 to $1000 each, they are rented out from $30 to $110 a night.
Poulter says she has had orders from clients aged 16 to 60-plus.
Being able to hire a high-end label for an occasional event means the money it would have cost to buy it can be spent on other priorities.
Poulter says many young women feel pressured to show themselves off on social media in ever-changing fashion outfits.
"They're wearing something once and they've got a photo of it, then they feel like they can't wear that again."
Hiring the dresses means "they're able to do that every weekend for an affordable price, rather than forking out thousands and thousands of dollars just trying to keep up".