The Block's Peter Wolfkamp on his new TV property show Slice Of Paradise
Is the series Slice Of Paradise, New Zealand's answer to Location, Location, Location?
Peter: No. I think this is genuinely New Zealand. There are always elements of shows in other shows, but in the end this is about joining people as they search for a house with Shelley and myself trying to understand what they're looking at. When looking for property, you need to do your research. People often go in with preconceived ideas like, 'I'm going to look for a weatherboard house with a picket fence out the front' whereas, in fact, what would suit you more is an apartment initially or a lifestyle block or a new build in a new suburb where you don't have to do as much work in the weekend.
How does the format work?
We meet up (with buyers) and look at two properties, physically look at them and go through and stomp around the house, look in the cupboards, underneath the house, that sort of thing. At the end of the day we present (the buyers) with an online option because the reality is most of us now do most of our viewing online.
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Is the rest of New Zealand sick of hearing about the Auckland property market?
The good thing about this show is more than half of the people that we worked with weren't in Auckland so we've been to Tauranga, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, Timaru, Nelson and north of Auckland as well.
What sort of ages are the buyers?
In episode one we meet a young guy who trained as a builder, then went into teaching. He's built himself his own tiny home and now he's looking at buying a bit of land he could move the tiny home on to and then work on his own house. He's in his mid-20s. In the same episode, we're in Christchurch with a family who have adult children and a grandchild and they're looking perhaps for something where they can get out of the city.
What about the houses and budgets?
During the course of the programme we meet a woman who is looking for a house for her and her two kids after a separation. She's got a budget in the low to mid-$200,000s and we meet another woman in a similar situation who has four kids and has a budget of around $2 million.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I can remember as a real little guy talking about being a carpenter but, to be honest, at one stage in my life I thought I'd end up in the priesthood of all places. I got most of the way through a psychology degree so that was an interest for a long time as well.
Did you start your apprenticeship when you were a teenager?
No. I was doing some youth work for a couple of years when I first left school and then wanted to take a break from that. I met a guy who was the dad of some friends of mine and he was building a house for his family. He said, 'I need someone to help' so I said, 'Hey that sounds great'. I've always loved building. I grew up in a house where we made lots of stuff for ourselves.
Have you had any DIY disasters?
I think if I was to list all of the things that go wrong when you do your own projects there would be multiple of them. With builders who are renovating their own house, it tends to be a case of paying customers first. So it's no surprise to find that I still don't have a handle on the door to the ensuite – despite the fact that I probably built it about 10 years ago. The disaster is pretty much never getting the time to finish it.
Did you ever imagine when you started building 30 years ago that you would end up on TV?
No. I think 30 years ago probably not. While I've enjoyed the fact I've been involved with building I've also had that other string to my bow in terms of the radio, having done quite a lot of talkback and now having a fulltime radio programme as well. I've always enjoyed communicating with people and sharing ideas, developing ideas and getting new ideas. But I do like the practical and if I'm off the tools for too long, I really do genuinely miss it. So being on the tools, being in my workshop is my happy place.
Is your son showing any signs of wanting to be a builder and following in his dad's footsteps?
No, that's probably not his thing. He might end up going down the architecture route like his granddad.
Slice Of Paradise, Three, starts Wednesday, September 20.
- TV Guide