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Kiwi tradesman selected to live French life

Date: 2 December 2009

Rugby, castles and village life – kiwi tradesman selected to live French life

Four months ago Pauline Hampshire posted a job on, NZ’s website for getting quotes from tradespeople, seeking kiwi tradesmen to renovate her villa in Chevreuse near Paris.

Her job generated huge interest, with over 100 tradespeople from all over NZ indicating their interest on before the job was closed to further interest. Pauline was overwhelmed by both the quality and quantity of responses, and has spent the last four months talking to the tradesmen who were interested. She has even had a few stay with her as they passed through France on holiday.

One tradesman, Adrian Walker, a builder and plumber from Wellington, stood out from the first time they spoke. “Adrian spent a lot of time emailing back and forth, helping us plan out the job. He even put together a YouTube video of his past work, and had a really can-do attitude”. Pauline was so impressed she flew Adrian over to inspect the job.

Adrian sees this is a chance for a life change, having established a successful business in Wellington. “Pauline and Simon have been very gracious, I have seen a fair bit of the country while I have been here. The village is beautiful, surrounded by castles and 11th century buildings. It is great to get a kiwi tour of the neighbourhood. Simon also gave me his ticket to Saturday’s All Black match”.

Adrian is excited by the job. “The villa is amazing, it has heaps of potential. While it may look pretty daunting, I want to have a go at transforming it - it is very doable. It will be a good chance to try different construction techniques and methods”. He is not impressed with the local workmanship he has seen “the bits that have been done by the French builders look a bit shabby, I can see why they would want to get a kiwi in as we approach things quite differently in NZ”.

Adrian returns to NZ on Monday, and expects to return with his family to start the job April 1, during the French summer. He estimates that the job will take 3 to 4 months, depending on how easy it is to secure supplies “things work differently over here – there is a 35 hour work week, and what you might be able to walk in and buy in NZ can take a while to order here”.

Pauline is glad Adrian visited “I can’t see that the job could have been possible without him – he can see the vision I see”. However, there is still some hope for other tradesmen who expressed an interest in the job: “I am still speaking with a couple of guys through, as there is a lot of stonework to do so we are looking to bring over one other person for that”.

To view an image that accompanies this release please visit:

For more details Pauline’s job, please visit


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