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'Why New Zealand, why Nelson?' are the most common questions, when they ask us about our story and our home country, Slovenia. When my partner Sina and I met, we started to share the dream of coming to New Zealand. One day I got an email from the Immigration Office in New Zealand, promoting the New Zealand Opportunities Expo in London one month later. We didn't know what to expect. At the Expo I met Bruce from Bayleys Nelson. We had such an open, friendly and relaxed talk that I still cannot forget it. In a few words he described his every day life in Nelson, beauty and life style, showing me the street and his favourite coffee place and later we exchanged emails with no expectations. When Sina and I came out on the street we looked at each other, screamed 'Yeees!' and a decision was made. After travelling around New Zealand, we arrived in Nelson on a rainy day, but we loved it! Next morning the sun came out, we met Bruce Farquhar again for a coffee and our job opportunity followed that very day as a result of his contacts. We went through the migration process with NZIC (part of Migrate2nelson) and after a couple of weeks they notified us we could stay and work in New Zealand. Yeeees! We came with no expectations, because we like it that way, but Nelson is definitely the place to be, just like Bruce said, and every day that is proven even more! We are living our dreams on the other side of the world, have new friends, favourite coffee, shops, excellent sea view every day and beautiful sunny weather all the time! We are discovering new activities and new challenges and I also hope we will soon find a small boat for us! We are lucky to have our dear family and friends supporting us with our decision, first visit is already booked for December and hopefully the others will follow. It is hard to find the right words to describe it, that's why we are living it now!
‘My husband Paul and I were both working for a large company and had done so for the last 25 years when my husband, who I confess may have become slightly institutionalised, decided that we should up sticks and move. He had discovered New Zealand (and particularly Nelson) back in the 80’s when he came to visit family friends. Paul liked it so much with its unending beauty and laid back lifestyle that he convinced me to come and see for myself. I appeased him by agreeing to come for a year (of course 5 years on and we couldn’t be happier with our choice). On February 1st 2004 we arrived first into Auckland and the hustle and bustle of a large airport then jumped aboard a propeller jet and took off for the South Island. We passed over the most beautiful landscape and I tried to imagine what it would have felt like arriving by boat over a hundred years ago from an industrialized Britain to this land of immense splendor with its snow capped mountains, blue seas and green rolling hills. I had not experienced such clear cut colour before. I knew at this point that I had given my children the best gift a parent could give. We arrived into Nelson Airport which was refreshingly small after London and without the tedious security procedures and unending queues to deal with. We felt like true pioneers when we arrived because it was such a huge decision to leave our family and friends, people you have history with to suddenly arrive at a place where you knew virtually no one. The first year came and went as if on a long holiday. We felt the need to race around seeing everything and were surprised at how this country had managed to stay free from the commercialization of the rest of the world. Such un-spoilt beauty. We realized that Nelson was the best kept secret. Through our children we quickly got to meet lots of people and everyone was incredibly welcoming. Our life here bears no resemblance to the life we left behind, where we had made the decision to have children knowing we would have to put them straight into childcare because our busy London lifestyles enforced our working hours. Here I feel that life at last has slowed down enough for me to smell the roses. I am very involved in the lives of my children and feel so happy to see them play freely on the beach, how lovely for them to take the big open beaches for granted. In short, coming to Nelson has been the most rewarding experience of our lives. We look back fondly on Britain and we will always be British, however we like to think of ourselves in the same light as our pioneering forefathers, we also came here to give our family the opportunities that no longer exist in our home country.
I never dreamed I would be lucky enough to come back to live and work here after visiting when I was much younger, however after ten minutes of arriving on our first family holiday to NZ two years ago, my husband and boys were also smitten. Although the journey ahead was long and hard and not recommended for the faint hearted, it is totally worth it in every way. We chose to apply to move to NZ for many reasons - it became clear to us after having two children and the eldest starting Comprehensive school that for us the UK was rapidly losing its appeal, not only as a place to bring up the kids, but also for us to live and work. We were not having any balance, Paul working 60-70 hr weeks, and the penny dropped when we totaled up how much each year we were spending “escaping” the rat race. New Zealand offered us a beautiful place to live and work, with world class scenery, friendly laid back people, small population, excellent schools, consistent sunny climate, amazing food and wine, and it really gives us a wow factor every morning as we awake to the stunning views of the Tasman Sea. The boys started school this week. We were very fortunate to get them in the same school, one being 10years and the eldest 12years, this you would never get in the UK. The school has plenty of space and only 82 pupils in total. The best thing was being told the only rules of uniform were, bring a sun hat and togs (trunks) every day!!:)You can guess how delighted they are and can not wait to get there. We were very impressed with how easy we found it to buy a house, get a mortgage, and get the kids into school - so different from our experiences of cancelling our UK life. Every step of the transition from a NZ professional was a delight, we did our research but found talking to the right person was always well worth the call. This continues to be the way since we arrive. Be aware, up tight stressed UK residents, you will need to learn how to take it easier, trust people, be patient, smile more and accept the genuine KIWI hospitality.