Considered one of New Zealand's preeminent architects; credited with bringing the Arts and Crafts Movement to his homeland.
He originally considered farming as his life's ambition, but a stint apprenticing with a neighboring builder led him to design his first structure. He studied in England in 1909 under the tutelage of such architects as C.F.A. Voysey, Baille Scott, and Raymond Unwin.
He was also proficient as a builder and furniture designer, as well as in photography and astrology.
His first building was a timber house for his farmer parents. He and Mary Gibson wed in 1900.
He and Frank Lloyd Wright were contemporaries.