Kia ora! I am the founder of The Kiwee Company and look forward to bringing you a range of exciting new products for your bathroom space.
The revolutionary and life-changing Kiwee Lifter is our first unique product we are launching in just a few weeks time, and preorders are on sale now.
The story about the origin of the Kiwee Lifter began 25 years ago in 1993 in my hometown of Moerewa where my dad, Tom Hohepa was fed up with being growled at by his wife Doddy for leaving the dreaded toilet seat up.
An inventor by nature, Tom has always tutu'ed around with ideas and designs and created many different things from go karts, to modifying cars, he made a homemade electric garage door lifter, a remote control Spitfire aeroplane, BMX bike with a motorbike suspension (this was years before they came out commercially), extracted hydrogen from water, and would basically live in his shed happily tinkering away especially with anything that had a motor.
Sunday trips to the Whangae dump near Opua in the Bay of Islands, was always a chance to pick up a discarded washing machine, motorbikes or wrecked car parts, junk to anyone else but of course an absolute treasure to Tom.
But for this design he didn't need a motor, he actually had to keep it really simple and the premise, to design a toilet lifter that was handsfree and simple, was surely going to be a walk in the park. And for Tom it was.
Out of a thin steel rod, the dad-of-two manipulated the rod to create a basic but effective toilet seat lifter and the useable prototype was attached to a new toilet seat and he never had to touch the toilet seat or get growled at ever again.
All I can say is Mr and Mrs Hohepa are still blissfully married and not a day has gone by where Mrs Hohepa doesn't attribute that to the very first Kiwee Lifter.
So Tom knew he was onto a winner. He sought a patent for the design but to his surprise there was patent that already existed.
Thinking there was no way he could get approval to commercially produce his design, he went on to create another but this was more complex and involved using a latex rubber bladder that was filled with water that filled a reservoir that lifted and lowered the seat.
Thinking he had the perfect design, despite his original design still working perfectly away in his lavatory, he undertook the enormous task of writing his own patent application, it was eventually accepted and the patent for his design was filed.
However, It wasn't until 23 years later when I was studying for my MBA and looking to start a business, that I realised the potential of the Kiwee Lifter and decided after all those years of product trialling with numerous positive feedback from the many family and friends who visited our home, that I decided to turn it into a commercial product for retail sale.
But there was one hitch, how do we do that?
I'll let you know in my next blog.
Below is a photo of the time when I was "lost in China" and waiting for the renewal of my lost passport. It was here in the city of Fuzhou in October 2016, when my "ahaa" moment happened and I realised that the product that was missing in the world was the "Kiwee Lifter".