Thursday, May 8, 2014

Life Will Go On Long After Money Says Houseboat Dweller Paul Jepson...

And life will hopefully go on too for Boulder Bank boat builder and resident Paul Jepson whose houseboat the Nelson City Council is going to confiscate and probably destroy because it doesn't comply with the city's bylaws.
It's a structure built without the necessary consents and regulations, without the little boxes being ticked and it's being used as a dwelling and that is just too too much
for Nelson's unimaginative city fathers.
And too too much too for the ratepayers who are consumed with jealousy and resentment every time they see Paul living outside their narrowly defined and rigid square.
Of course if the structure was regarded by the courts as a boat, there wouldn't be a problem but doing that is too easy a fix.
Paul built his houseboat that's survived many a storm on the smell of an oily rag, from old drums, wooden pallets and recycled drums. It's got all the comforts of home, a rain catching system, a potbelly stove and a bed.
What more does a man want. All this man wants is to live cheaply, quietly aboard his own mortgage free dwelling, minding his own business and living in peace.
It's a shame that the world can't let him...


  1. More power to Mr. Jepson. Giving the system the slip is a heroic endeavor, in my book.

    Speaking of unofficial housing, someone recently posted the following on Lloyd Kahn's blog:

    Gregory Kloehn is an Oakland artist who uses scavenged materials to build wheeled tiny shelters for homeless people, somewhat similar to the bicycle-drawn wagon you posted about a few months ago. I live near Oakland, and am thinking of contacting him and perhaps joining in his building activities. Homelessness is a scourge and this seems to me the most direct way to combat its dreadful effects.

    BTW, in this region equity firms have been snapping up foreclosed properties by the thousands and using their leverage over this artificially vacant housing stock to drive rents through the roof. I am personally affected by this, adversely of course. A journalist by the name of Darwin Bond-Graham has done some excellent work exposing this real-estate skulduggery.

    To take a leaf from Dmitry Orlov's book, maybe Paul Jepson could reconfigure his dwelling to conform to the local definition of "boat." It's usually better to dodge the authorities than to try to confront them head-on.

    1. Thanks Val. I've written about Gregory Kloehn previously but funnily enough there's another story about him and his micro houses scheduled to be published here within the next couple of weeks...

    2. The Occupy Wall Streer pointed out these Vultures .The banks and politicians beet up the middle class and fund hate mongers tocover there tracks. The Banks and Coperations want to own everything.Power to the People Right On Baby.

  2. They hate us for our freedom . . .

  3. It's just the cynic in me, I'm sure, but Nelson probably has rules against houseboats anywhere but in a Marina, too.

  4. It seems to be a law that law-makers are suffering of anxiety and have a restrictive understanding of the qualities in diversity of life and the many ways of living.

  5. Many people don't understand that rules are a short-cut to thinking. And many people relish the power of making and enforcing rules on others. Perhaps they lack the capacity or are too lazy to think. As long as we keep voting such people into positions of power, anarchists will always get the shitty end of the old proverbial stick.

  6. It is a shame in todays society that we aggrieve people living like this, when there are people living on the streets, in their cars, and all because NZ has sold out to business. To my mind this guy is a hero, and to the beurocrats, dont you have anything better to do than victimise someone else, and dictate your higher than mighty life too.. who is better off, well, i leave that to the commentators..
    New Zealand was a country built on progressive thinking not a company reliant on regressive rule enforcement..(and I did mean to say company btw).