Grand Designs NZ: Ambitious Te Arai mansion strains father's mental health

Building an ambitious mansion in Te Arai almost proved too much for a New Plymouth couple, who found their stamina strained by cramped temporary living conditions and ever-inflating costs as they build their dream home.

Vince and Cathy Moores' story featured on Grand Designs NZ this week, as the couple set out to build their dream home on a 2ha site at Te Arai, north of Auckland.

The couple, who met while travelling in Europe, are refreshingly frank and honest about Vince's battle with depression, which he says he fell into nine years ago after losing his mother, their son's hospitalisation and the global financial crisis.

"I went into this really bad place where I couldn't even get out of the house for a year, and unfortunately didn't respond to medication," he says.

"We had to look at life differently," says Cathy.

Vince found his way out through cycling; he biked through several continents around the world. The dream of the Te Arai lodge was inspired by Vince and Cathy's new-found desire for a simple life, with a home in which they could house their friends and family, returning the favour for people they'd met overseas.

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Douglas Moores