He’s best known as the stern but much-loved site foreman on The Block NZ – a typical Kiwi bloke who practically entered this world with a tool belt and hard hat.
And while Peter Wolfkamp, affectionately dubbed “The Wolf” by the show’s contestants, may at times have the teams shaking in their steel-capped boots, it’s fair to say that he’s far more revered than he is feared.
So when New Zealand’s “Mr Fix-it” turned 50 a few weeks back, everyone conspired to make his milestone birthday one to remember.
“It was a complete and utter surprise,” tells Peter, who also hosts Sunday Mornings with The Resident Builder on Newstalk ZB. “Earlier, I had said to my wife Deb that I was happy to just mooch along for the day, do my work and celebrate later as a family.”
However, it seems his wife Debbie Coleman and his business manager Haley Law had other ideas.
They had been covertly arranging a surprise on set – even Peter and Debbie’s eight-year-old son Joseph was in on it – and by all accounts, it went without a hitch.
“I arrived on site at 7am as per usual and was told I was needed in house number three,” tells Peter. “So I left the office, headed down the driveway and there in front of me was a crowd of people – hosts Mark [Richardson] and Shelley [Ferguson], as well as the contestants, crew and Debs and Joseph – they were all there.”
So too was a special tribute to the man of the day – a cake shaped like a wolf, complete with a tool belt and the words “Nailed it at 50” scrawled in icing.
“It was quite a creation,” he says chuckling. “I felt a bit bad about cutting into it, but with 16 hungry builders, eight hungry contestants, production staff and all the rest, there was
no stopping me!”
Of course, The Block NZ waits for no man and once the cake had been annihilated, it was back to business – or, building.
The fifth season of the home renovation show is shaping up to be a good one, but, says Peter, the best is yet to come. And he would know.
His building career spans almost 30 years and is packed with every project you can think of, from new builds to the restoration of a 16th-century farmhouse in the south of France.
But it’s Peter’s personality that has made him so popular, something this surprise really hammered home.
“It was a memorable, special way to celebrate,” he says. “I once had dinner in a French château for my birthday, but this might have topped it!”
Words: Ellen Dorset