Nineteen-year old Blake considers his flatmates his ‘brothers from another mother’.
Blake, Justin, also 19, and Dane, 16, have lived together for four years and they are about to move house again. There is no hesitation that the three of them will remain together.
Among the packing boxes and the stacked furniture, Blake goes through the specifics of the new house they move to on the weekend. They found it on Trade Me and all decided the five bedrooms would meet their needs, including being just down the road from the Selwyn Aquatic Centre with its swimming and other sports facilities.
“Justin’s friend says he’s going to take a room with us as well,” Blake says. “We’re taking the trampoline and the BBQ also.”
The new house is also on the most important bus routes for the guys - into town and the best shopping centres and movie theatres. There’s also PHAB Club to get to, where they join other teens at Laser Strike among other activities.
There’s time before the moving truck comes to kick the soccer ball around the back lawn that Justin has just mowed. Like for many in the neighbourhood, Friday is fish and chip takeaway night and by the time the guys move onto shooting a few hoops, appetites are starting to build.
“We’ve all got our jobs to do, including making dinner and doing dishes,” Blake explains later, pointing at the house roster.
Blake and Justin say they can’t imagine not living in the same place together, but they both have had girlfriends and Blake is clear that he wants to someday get married and have children – one of each.
In the meantime, there are more pressing priorities as the flatmates are saving up to upgrade to PlayStation 4. Like most teenage boys, each of their bedrooms has televisions, All Blacks posters and their mobile phones – the guys maintain Samsung is now far superior to iPhone – as key items. There are various school stationery supplies and a multitude of balls represent a number of sports codes.
Blake attends adult classes at Ferndale School in New Brighton and, as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme, is soon to spend five days on the Banks Peninsula track. “But we still have to decide what we are going to cook for our dinners every night,” says Blake.
While the other two have one and two siblings, Blake is the youngest from a family of six sisters and two brothers. He’s closest to his sister Kayla and they often discuss what job he would like to do when he finishes at Ferndale.
Blake says that once he is working, a major goal will be to save as much money as possible. He’d like to work nightshift and, as a strong guy over six foot tall, would like to get a role in security. He’s done self-defence classes through school and really likes to look after and be responsible for others.
“I don’t like nonsense,” Blake says. The other two flatmate ‘brothers’ couldn’t agree more.