Charity begins at an open home

00:00, Feb 19 2013
Christine Boswijk
FINELY FEATHERED "NEST": Christine Boswijk in the living room of her Hoddy Rd house, which is to be featured in the NZ House & Garden Tours fundraising event.

Nelson will become part of the country's biggest national charity house tour, with 11 standout homes opening their doors next month for the NZ House & Garden Tours.

The event is a fundraiser in aid of the Cancer Society of New Zealand and Look Good Feel Better, which promotes the confidence and wellbeing of women undergoing treatment.

Now in their fifth year, the tours will run in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, and for the first time in Nelson on March 15.

The 11 Nelson homes include a cluster in the city and Atawhai, as well as in Richmond, Appleby and Upper Moutere.

The mix ranges from a vintage cottage to the former bishop's residence now restored and transformed into a mansion.

Sculptor Christine Boswijk is a little unnerved at the thought of lots of people looking through her home.


It featured on the cover of NZ House & Garden magazine last November, and she and husband Patrick were asked to include their home on the tour.

"Quite honestly, the thought of having so many people in your personal space is daunting but so many have need of the hospice and cancer is the elephant in the room, how can you say no to a fundraiser. I feel it's a way of contributing to something really worthwhile," she said.

Both their home and her workshop have been built by her husband.

"He constructs things and I put the fine feathers in the nest," she said.

"It's how we live. It's not about big budget but being very privileged to live in this place and doing our best to be part of it.

"It's about us and our family, not about getting it right, being in fashion or setting an example, this is how we like to live."

NZ House & Garden editor Sally Duggan said the organisers had been wanting to bring the tours to Nelson for a number of years because there were such beautiful homes in the region.

"We are immensely grateful to the generous Nelson homeowners who are opening their homes to support such a wonderful cause," she said.

This year's tour hopes to push the total funds raised for the two charities since the event began to $1 million. Tickets, $65, are available on, 0800 111 999.

The Nelson Mail