October 22 2017, updated 12:10pm

At home with NHNZ producer David Hay

BRITT MANN
Last updated 05:00 21/05/2017
Michelle Weir

Jack Woon, left, and David Hay at Hay's Mornington home, which is a converted Church of Christ.

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David Hay, a television producer, and his flatmate, Jack Woon, a film and television editor and director, live in a converted church in Mornington, Dunedin. David moved to New Zealand from Scotland in 2005.

I came down to Dunedin for work. To be honest I was looking for an investment property but I eventually just got seduced by a really impractical, big, grand, cavernous church.

It's a Church of Christ, and it was built in 1901. I think it was only operational through the 60s and then it became a storeroom for the church. Then it was derelict for a really long time. It's suffered a lot of abuse in its poor life. Hopefully I can make it better.

I moved in in January. It got converted into a residence in 2004. The LIM report is like a crime scene. It had quite a lot of remedial work done to it last year, in order to get it sold, I guess. Now it's functional.

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Upstairs is the main living area - very large lounge/dining/kitchen. Then there's all the wet rooms - the laundry, the bathroom and toilet. Downstairs there are five rooms.

It's just me and Jack. I only came down to Dunedin a couple of years ago and we've flatted together since then.

To be honest I'd always wanted to live in a church but I'd never seriously considered it as being something I would actually do. They've got that sense of history, of grandiosity and - I hate to use the word - spirituality. I'm so cynical about that whole thing. But there's a little bit of heresy in owning a church for me.

When I walked in, the estate agent handed me a sheet with all the problems the house had. I kind of thought, "Oh God, here we go." I'd written it off, I wasn't going to buy it at all. But eventually I looked into the problems and they just weren't as bad they seemed. And I made the decision to buy it, because it's gorgeous.

We had the housewarming party and we had two bands playing - the main room is 9 metres long. And Jack is a pianist - he's got a baby grand in there. Not everyone could do that.

It's a really cool place for having people round. When you're in it by yourself it's a bit of a cavern, but we'll work on that.

I've just done the bathroom and I've done a little bit of cladding work on the outside. There's lots of ideas flying around. What I'd like to do is put a fourth, master bedroom on the third level, which would have views in three directions. I also fancy having a walkway that goes the length of the room. I haven't figured out why I'd need that yet. I see a library somewhere.

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