Caleb Harcus has transformed the home into a bright beacon on Rocks Rd. Photo: Charles Anderson

Rocks Rd’s red house is complete


Caleb Harcus has no doubt that his little red house saved his life.

For more than a year the house on Rocks Rd has been a staple talking-point for passers-by.

First it was transformed into a bright red home with white trim.

Then its garage was completely refurbished and painted white with red trim.

Finally the little red house is up for rent.

“The house filled a hole in my life,” says Caleb.

He is tetraplegic after he was hit by a truck in Australia six years ago. It is the government pay-out from that accident that paid for the house.

“I was lost. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was always in practical jobs.”

Now, he is confined to a wheelchair and often to his bed when he suffers from sores associated with his condition. Sometimes he could not leave the house for weeks and heard about updates on the Rocks Rd home from his builder.

“I survived on photos,” Caleb says.

He says the house gave him something to occupy his mind and his time. And it has taken some time.

“I’m a perfectionist,” he says.

However, there was the potential for a roadblock when he discovered that the garage actually sits on land owned by NZTA. So, he had to lease it off the Government. Luckily, they said they would only charge him $1 a year.

The dream was always for Caleb to live in the house but the reality was it would need many more adjustments to make it suitable for him. So instead, he hopes someone will rent the home and give it the love it deserves.

“It doesn’t have to compete with the big flash houses. It is like old New Zealand – the way it used to be.”

He gives credit to his builder Harold whose painstaking work is evident from the home’s immaculate condition.

The two-bedroom home is fully insulated with a heat pump, but Caleb warns that it doesn’t get much morning sun and cellphone reception is patchy. Rent is between $400 and $420 a week.

Two large boulders now sit in front of the house and a ship’s figurehead will eventually go on the front of the garage.

Then Caleb’s little red house will finally be complete.