Free Books I’m Giving Away

Update:  This offer is now closed.  Thanks to everyone who got behind it!  It was a lot of fun, and I hope you learn and grow heaps from the books you’ve got.
Update:  I just found another stash of books, so have added them to the list below
Update: I am aware that some of these books were given to me as gifts.  To the people who gave them I am sincerely grateful.  It was a real struggle deciding whether to put most of these on here, but at the end of the day we seriously need to clear up space so I needed to be ruthless.  Thanks again for the gift, and be encouraged that it will soon be inspiring others!
Well friends, it’s time to do what I’ve wanted to do for a long while.  I’ve gone through the boxes of books I have sitting around, and want to seriously downsize my collection.  There are some gems here, so I’d like to see them go to homes where they’ll be appreciated, rather than some faceless buyer in a booksale somewhere.
What that means for you is that, if you’re quick enough, you can have any of these books just by asking for them.  I don’t expect any payment for any of these books, though if you’re feeling generous I would appreciate any contributions toward my ‘rebuild-a-kindle-library-fund.’  Here’s how I see this working:
  • When you see a book or books you’d like, send me an email to with a list of what you want, and if you want to chip into the fund.
  • As books get taken I’ll wipe them off this list, trying to keep it updated as best I can
  • For popular books, they will simply go to the first person I get an email from.
  • I’ll let this go for two weeks, and then give any left over books to the church library or book bins.
  • I’m expecting to get a lot of emails, so please be patient if I don’t manage to be back in touch with you for a while.
  • Sorry but if you live away from Hamilton I’ll need you to cover postage for the books, I’m happy to sort postage but, again, please be patient!
  • If you live in Hamilton we can try and arrange picking up the books.
  • If you’ve got questions about the books post them in the comments so everyone gets to see whats going on.
A few notes on the books:
  • If you don’t think you’ll actually use the book please leave it for someone who will.
  • I’m the sort of person who likes to take good care of my books, so unless they’re something I bought second-hand, you can generally expect them to be in pretty good condition.
  • The exception is a bunch of books (generally the ‘Christian’ books) that I’ve highlighted and marked inside to varying degrees.
  • Before I send them I’ll have a quick flick through them and let you know what condition they’re in.
So, without further ado, here is the list of books I’m giving away.  Lets see how this works!



  • Acts of the Apostles – A.C. Winn
  • Good News In Luke – Wilf Wilkinson
  • John: A Brief Commentary – Everett F. Harrison
  • James: Christian Faith in Action – G. Coleman Luck
  • Matthew – Howard F. Vos
  • Hebrews, James, I and II Peter – J.W. Bowman
  • A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  • David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  • Black Market – James Patterson
  • Torn Apart – James Patterson
  • Postcard Killers – James Patterson
  • The Sound of Thunder – Wilbur Smith
  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – J.R.R. Tolkien (matching set)
  • The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Mr Tucket – Gary Paulsen
  • The Infidel – Bob Shepherd
  • Brother Fish – Bryce Courtenay
  • The Other Side of Dawn – John Marsden
  • The Year of the Leopard Song – Eric Campbell
  • The Place of Lions – Eric Campbell
  • One of Our Bombers is Missing – Dan Brennan
  • The Club of Queer Trades – G.K. Chesterton
  • The Incredible Journey – Sheila Burnford
  • My Life as a Smashed Burrito with Extra Hot Sauce – Bill Myers
  • Tyrant of the Badlands – Sigmund Brouwer
  • Whistleman – Brian Ridden
  • The Road to Gandolfo | The Osterman Weekend – Robert Ludlum


Holiday Happenings

Blog posts have been a bit scant round here for the last couple of weeks, but for very good reason. I’ve spent two weeks down in the South Island, enjoying the sun, hanging with family and clocking up thousands of kilometres in friend’s cars. Here’s a (very brief) run down of what we got up to….

On Good Friday we got along to the practice day for Warbirds Over Wanaka. I’ve always loved planes, and so was buzzing to get along to this. It didn’t fail to deliver, and despite the sore neck from constantly looking skyward, I left as one satisfied customer.  The weather really came to the party, and sunglasses were essential.  Earplugs were a debatable accessory, as I felt happy to sacrifice a bit of my hearing to fully embrace the bone-shuddering, chest-resonating power of such awesome machines.

Following the warbirds we headed over to Oamaru to Paula’s cousin’s wedding, which was a special time hanging with family. And then we couldn’t help ourselves but head back into Central Otago to embrace the sights, while enjoying good yarns as we roadtripped around this beautiful corner of the country.

The plan was to do a four-day tramp in Mt Aspiring National Park, but with dodgy weather forecast the good people at DOC suggested avoiding it. Instead we opted for a day walk, and then seized a break in the weather to do the climb to Mueller Hut, a three hour grunt straight up the hill (read: raging mountain) from Mt Cook Village. The effort was rewarded, though, with magnificent views on the way up, and then a spectacular sunset and sunrise overlooking Mt Sefton and, of course, Mt Cook. A highlight was standing outside in the dark and hearing the thunder of avalanches echoing across the valley from the slopes of Mt Sefton.

After battling our way down the next day in gale force winds, we opted to head back to Christchurch to catch up with my brother and rest up a bit. We did the drive out to Akaroa, caught up with friends, walked in the port hills and spent way too much on coffee. All in all, good times.

After a few days in Christchurch we went down to Dunedin and hung out with Paula’s folks for a bit. A couple of highlights here were getting to play with my new niece and finally going inside the new stadium to watch the Highlanders v Blues game. Having spent so many lunch dates with Paula sitting watching the construction going on, I was just as interested in checking out the building as the game.

A couple of days later we did the early flight back to Auckland on Sunday, caught up with a few friends, and braced ourselves for work on Monday.  It was a fun-filled and reinvigorating time away, but I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things here.

Licensing Process Part 4: Exams

If you’ve been following this for a few posts, you’ll have seen that to get licensed as a cadastral surveyor in New Zealand involves strict experience requirements and a decent amount of work on various projects. The good news is that, by the time you’ve factored in all those other things, the exam side of things is actually relatively simple.

There are two exam events that you need to pass to get licensed. I say exam events because, strictly speaking, neither one is a simple exam in terms of sitting down and answering questions for a few hours.

The first one is what surveyors affectionally call, the ‘laws and regs.’ I’ve also heard it referred to as ‘the hardest exam you will ever sit in your life!’ It is exactly what it sounds like, an assessment of your understanding of the statutes and regulations surrounding cadastral surveying in New Zealand. 60% of the final mark comes from a sit-down exam with direct questions about the various laws in New Zealand. The other 40% of the mark comes from a research component, which basically outlines the most complex boundary definition scenario you will ever face, and which you need to explain how to arrive at a just and equitable decision on where the boundary falls. The laws and regs exam is held once a year, every February.

The professional entrance exam is the big one. This is the final hurdle before qualifying to be licensed. Having fulfilled the experience requirements, and completed the projects, you need to send the projects down to Wellington. There a panel of experts in the various fields I mentioned the other day will look over the projects, and come exam time, will grill you on every aspect of them. The exam is actually made up of a number of oral exams, each dealing with a different discipline within surveying. The goal is as with the projects, to prove competency in certain fields within surveying. Provided they are happy that you know your stuff, you can go away eligible to get licensed, the road finally at an end!

Now before I finish up this series, I need to mention that I have intentionally simplified some stuff, so if you’re actually planning on getting licensed, or just really keen, you should check out the original documents. The best resources to find out more are the Cadastral Survey Act 2002, along with the NZIS Annual Circular, which goes into more detail about what the projects involve. If you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear them!

Licensing Process Part 3: Projects

I’ve already discussed what’s involved with being a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor in New Zealand, and the necessary experience to get there, today I turn to look at the projects required to be submitted to be in contention to become licensed.

Basically, the projects submitted need to prove that the surveyor is competent in the following disciplines: Spatial Measurement, Cadastral Surveying, Land Development Engineering, Planning and Resource Management and Geodetic Surveying. The sort of projects that ‘show competence’ are described below:

Spatial Measurement

Five projects need to be submitted for this. The first is a GNSS project, which basically needs to show how GPS has been used to establish new marks to a reasonably high level of accuracy (in 3 dimensions), and show a pretty decent level of understanding about the errors and other factors involved with this method of surveying.

The second is a topographic survey, which is a fancy way of saying that a plan needs to be done of a reasonably large area showing all the buildings, road features, services and the contours of the land. Again, the report needs to show a good understanding of what accuracies have been achieved, where errors have snuck in and what the scale of these are.

Another three projects need to be submitted on miscellaneous surveys, which need to be “unusual or complex.” Examples of such surveys include the precise set-out of buildings, surveys to monitor the movement of structures, inside surveys for the measurement of rentable areas and such like.

Cadastral Surveying

To prove competence in this area just one project needs to be submitted. This needs to be based around one survey plan completed that is pretty complex, and include a detailed report and all supporting documents to help the examiners run over it with a fine-toothed comb. Complex situations for cadastral surveys are things like: Water boundaries (that move over time) being involved along a main boundary; where the underlying survey plans are very old (say, dating from the 1800’s) and so the old boundaries don’t fit together very well, or the underlying parcel may be what’s called ‘limited as to parcels’ (One day I might write to explain what this means, but basically it makes things difficult).

Land Development Engineering

For this, a project needs to be completed that involves the design of a street at least 200m long, and which is connected to an existing street at at least one end. All the road and drainage work needs to be designed, as well as a full set of contract documents. I haven’t made a start with thinking about this, but I’ve heard its probably the most time-consuming project of the lot.

Planning, Design and Resource Management

One project needs to be submitted for this, and is a report that can cover one of a number of situations. These situations include things like urban extensions, rural developments, an urban design critique, rezoning proposals, a reserve management plan and so on.

Geodetic Surveying

This field of surveying relates to the precise positioning of marks on a large scale, factoring in things like the shape of the earth and movement of tectonic plates and whatnot. The project, similar to the GNSS project, needs to establish a bunch of marks and prove that they meet certain accuracy standards. The difference is that it isn’t only GPS being used to do so. Thankfully for this project the board accepts a significant project we completed at survey school, so doesn’t require much additional work.

As you can see, there’s plenty of work involved with putting all these projects together. Finally, in a day or two I’ll run over the exams needed to be completed in order to get licensed.