Kiwi House Sitters

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Platinum (36mths+)
House Sitting Preferences
  • 2 - 4 weeks, 1 - 2 months, 2 months +
  • Dog(s), Cat(s), Fish, Bird(s), Rabbit(s)/Guinea Pig(s), Chickens/Ducks/Geese, Farm Animals, Horse(s)
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • We have enjoyed multiple farm-sits at the same Greta Valley farm, being invited to come back and help out each time the farmer and his wife have taken holidays. Our tasks included exercising 5 farms dogs daily and feeding them, looking after 10 chooks and collecting eggs, moving stock (cattle/sheep), feeding lambs, and helping out with stacking hay. Also, mowing lawns around the farmhouse, watering indoor plants, and vege garden. We have looked after a lifestyle block at Oturihua. This involved looking after the domestic animals (1 dog and 3 cats), collecting eggs and feeding chooks, ensuring 4 horses had water and checking on them daily along with 2 cows, feeding 3 geese and putting them to bed at night and watering berry gardens. We've looked after domestic pets (3 dogs and 2 horses) on a working dairy farm in Dunrobin while the managers went overseas and we helped the temporary farm manager with calving, administering antibiotics and mixing and feeding powdered milk to the "sickly" ones, nursing them through to good health. We've looked after a block on the Hawea-Albert-Town Road where we fed goats and newly born kids, collected pig food for 4 growing pigs from restaurants in town daily and fed them, and ran the farm fresh eggs business for owner while she was away. We milked two of the goats daily including helping the mother goats with latching on their kids. We had a stint helping to look after the Kaka Point Camping Ground in the Catlins, which was something really different for us, but we thoroughly enjoyed it! Tasks included cleaning the ablutions block and processing payments from guests checking in. We took this on for four days a week for four weeks so that the owners could spend time with their family visiting from overseas. We have looked after a lifestyle block at Bannockburn, feeding chooks and collecting eggs, looking after two domestic cats, watering berry and vege gardens, and mowing lawns. We have worked on a Bannockburn vineyard (Remarkable Wines), leaf plucking and manually placing nets on the vines. While there we also completed some landscaping for owner Richard, and housesat and looked after his puppy Binky, while he was away on business trips. Merv was bought up on a Southland sheep farm, has managed a sheep and cropping property in Mid-Canterbury, has also worked on a high-country station which included working with deer, and as a practical requirement for his degree at Lincoln University, worked on a large North Island dairy operation. He has also owned his own lifestyle block in North Canterbury. He's good at driving tractors, dealing with electric fences and is gentle with stock. Karen owned a pony through her high school years, competing in one-day events and going to pony club. She loves cats and is good with dogs and chickens. Both Merv and Karen love the rural lifestyle and spending time around animals.

Preferred Locations
  • South Island: ALL  
  • NEXT 6 MONTHS    
  • 2024: 1 Jun - 14 Jul | 13 Aug - 19 Oct
  • On a house-sit right now

Red Thread Couple

67, Retired Employment Relations Consultant

53, Company Director

Hi there, we are Merv and Karen.

Having had successful professional careers in Training, HR and Employment Relations, our next phase and dream is to live life on the road in our amazing caravan exploring New Zealand and working on our online learning business. We have a fully self-contained off-road caravan which we are able to stay in while house/farm-sitting for you, if you prefer. But it is usual for us to stay in the house. keeping it lived in and keeping domestic pets company and showered with love

House/farm sitting is the perfect way for us to help others out, spend time with animals, and see different parts of the country.

Merv comes from a farming background and has worked on and managed farm properties in mid-Canterbury before a career change in his early 30s. He has owned working dogs and pets.

Karen loves all animals and when younger owned her own pony and was heavily involved in pony club and events. She's owned and loved cats her whole life.

We have rented properties in Wellington and back in Chch since 2010 (after the Christchurch earthquakes lost own home), so can provide you with references which show that any home we look after, we look after it very well taking great care to leave it clean and tidy. Because we keep things clean, neat and tidy, we suit housesits where the owners are of the same mindset.

As we love our animals too, we are traveling with our elderly cat Borat, but we have a setup where he is fully self-contained, and won't bother your own animals. He has a 1.8m catio that we set up next to the caravan with a garden tunnel and cat flap into our fully enclosed awning. He also has a secured hidey-hole space to go to under the caravan. The caravan just needs to be parked on or adjacent to grass so that we can set up our fully enclosed awning and the hidey-hole, which both need to be pegged into the ground. A picture of our caravan set-up is at the end of our profile photos. If this extra detail about us is still OK with you, we would love to be considered to help you out and look after things at your place while you take a much-deserved break!

Reviews (9)
Merv and Karen were excellent house sitters. They took great care of all our animals, the house and property. Communication was also very good. We arrived home to very content dogs, a lovely dinner and a very clean and tidy house. We would definitely recommend Merv and Karen as house sitters and we would not hesitate to offer them any future sits that we require.
GAVIN (Hawea Flat South Island, Feb 2023 - 1 week)
We were anxious going overseas, as we hadn’t left our house and pets alone in a long time. We were quite worried about Simba as he had a wound on his neck. However, Karen and Merv looked after him so well, that he completely recovered. Our cats and chickens, were also looked after very well and we appreciated the odd photo and updates. Great Communication. In addition to leaving the house absolutely spotless when we returned, they have done a wonderful job of maintaining the grounds and they ... MORE
MAIKE AND ZIGGY (Christchurch South Island, Jul 2023 - 1 month 2 weeks)
We were very fortunate to have had Merv and Karen house sit for us whilst we were overseas. They took excellent care of our property, animals and garden, and their communication was excellent. We enjoyed and appreciated their photos and updates while we were away. On our return, a meal had been left in the Fridge, flowers from the garden popped into a vase, and everything left meticulously clean and tidy. The pets, Mr Freddy, Pippa, Ace and Mischief were well cared for. Merv and Karen ... MORE
CUSHLA (Ashburton South Island, Apr 2023 - 2 months 1 week)
We have been so lucky to have had Merv and Karen house sit for us while we were overseas. The communication, care of our property, care for our animals and gardens were superb. We couldn't have asked for any better. Merv and Karen are kind, thoughtful, thorough and dependable and we are so very delighted to have had the privilege of having them stay. They looked after everything with meticulous detail and care. Thank you both for the brilliant job you have done and we hope to stay in touch as ... MORE
LINDA (Bannockburn South Island, Dec 2022 - 4 weeks)
absolutely amazing, karen and merv went above and beyond, we couldn't of asked for a better couple to look after our animals for us, great communication and so happy to oblige with whatever happened, even when little dandeloin(kid) was born, it definatley makes us going away a lot more easier if we ever get the opportunity to have them back, thank you so very much....Nicola, and steven..xx
NICOLA (Wanaka South Island, Sep 2022 - 4 weeks)
Merv and Karen cared for calves, sheep and dog while here. Highly recommended, excellent communications and wonderful to deal with. Thanks very much
KATHY (Canterbury , May 2022 - 3 weeks)
Karen and Merv took exceptional care of our beloved dog and property while we were on a long oversees trip. They went above and beyond in sending fun updates and pictures which really put us at ease and let us enjoy our holiday to the fullest. Not only did they ferry us to and from the airport but we arrived home to a spotless house, lawns mowed, beautiful homemade food, a bottle of wine and one very happy dog! We will definitely be contacting Karen and Merv to housesit for us for our next trip ... MORE
JOHN (West Melton South Island, Mar 2022 - 1 month)
Lovely couple...lots of communication...animals all happy and well ...they picked a heap if black currants and frozen them for us too.....can highly recommend them.
GILLIAN (Oturehua South Island, Dec 2021 - One week)
Merv and Karen are AMAZING house and farm sitters. They look after our 5 dogs with love and care, attend to our 10 chickens, look after lambs when needed and also help out with moving the stock. They brought their own caravan to stay in and kept up with jobs while we were away like mowing the lawns, etc for us. They are fantastic to have on the farm and we would highly recommend them. We will definitely be asking them again!
MAREE (Greta Valley South Island, Dec 2020 - 3 weeks)
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