Tucked away in the Whanganui East shopping centre, but very much part of the community, is Technoman.

Francois (Swace) Izatt and Phil Feldon have owned the Moana St-based computer company for nearly two years, taking it over from a friend who had been operating it for just over a year.

Izatt comes from a sales background but has a lifelong interest in computers and Feldon has worked in the computer industry for about 10 years. They now employ one staff member, Mo Mosen.

"Our core focus is on residential and we cater for the everyday person," Izatt said.


"There are other bigger companies around Whanganui who focus on commercial work but there are not a lot of small companies like us.

"We do in-home servicing and can look at people's printers and scanners and we can do some television work if needed. We build custom computers and offer lease options."

Technoman has a retail store, does passport photos, provides some tutoring and builds websites as well as doing computer and laptop repairs.

The store also has an internet cafe and hosts online gaming events.

"Once a month we have 15 to 20 people here for a LAN event," Izatt said.

"It's pretty cool having a bunch of people in the same place having fun with gaming. They can bring their own device and we have some computers as well. We normally pick a couple of games to play for tournaments. Usually there is one free game and the other one might be free or you might have to buy it.

"The main age group is 18 to 25. It's usually a R16 event but we've had some interest from parents who have kids aged about 12 so we're considering having an all-ages time bracket for a couple of hours at the start."

An internet cafe and online gaming nights are popular parts of Technoman's business. Photo / Bevan Conley
An internet cafe and online gaming nights are popular parts of Technoman's business. Photo / Bevan Conley

The gaming sessions are so popular that some participants start arriving from noon for the 7pm event and do not leave until 1am the next day.

Izatt said Technoman is looking at expanding the gaming side in the future.

The gaming nights are a bonus for other businesses in the shopping centre, with Technoman encouraging participants to support nearby food outlets.

"It's a growing little community in Whanganui East and it's starting to take off which is good," Izatt said.

"It's become a busy little place and nearly all the shops are occupied now."

Technoman accepts scrap computers. These are given to the Grumpy Old Men Enterprises (GOME) Trust to be broken down into component parts which are sold to raise funds for community groups and schools.