Daniels Family Wanted Down Under


Daniels Family

Families consider relocating down under. Keen to put the past behind them after tough times in the UK, can the Daniels carve out a happier future in New Zealand?


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If finding the love of your life had taken longer than expected

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and led to heartbreak as well as happiness,

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you could be yearning for a fresh start.

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But how far would you go to achieve your happy ever after?

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For one couple, it could mean a move to the other side of the world.

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Debbie and Lee Daniels have faced more heartache than most.

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Our lives haven't gone the way we thought it would.

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Everyone else around us seems to be getting

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the dream that we haven't got.

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Now, the couple are seeking a clean slate in New Zealand.

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I'm really positive. My bags are almost packed and, yeah, I'm here.

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But when confronted with leaving behind everything they love...

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-We can basically throw away all of this.

-Now you're getting stroppy.

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Will they stand by the dream or decide home is where the heart is?

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Are we escaping? Are we just running away?

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Famous the world over for it's scenic diversity,

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New Zealand boasts spectacular geographic backdrops,

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from beaches to rainforests and active volcanoes.

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And now after decades of immigration,

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its population is as diverse as the landscape.

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With three quarters of its 4.5 million residents

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of European descent, it seems the sky's the limit

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in the country often referred to as Land Of The Long White Cloud.

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Having put life on hold to help her widowed mum bring up

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her two younger sisters,

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Debbie Daniels was delighted when she finally met husband Lee.

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But their happiness was short lived

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when they realised they'd never have a family of their own.

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With Lee's support, Debbie's now ready to put the past to rest

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and believes relocating to New Zealand is the key

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to a happier future. The Daniels now have one week

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to decide whether uprooting to the other side of the world

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really is the right move.

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To reach New Zealand,

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the Daniels spent 24 hours travelling from London via Dubai.

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And while Debbie's made the trek down under before,

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the journey took her a little by surprise.

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When I came here ten years ago, I don't remember the flight

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-being quite so long as it was.

-Yeah.

-It was hard work.

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Husband Lee made the most of his time in the air.

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Plenty of food, plenty of drinking. Good films.

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The reality of the week ahead has hit home with Debbie.

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Looking out of the window when we were coming in to land.

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Oh, where are we going? What are we going to be doing?

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-Yeah.

-It's sort of the unknown, really.

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Lee's already convinced they're in New Zealand for the long haul.

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I'm really positive. My bags are almost packed.

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Yeah, I'm here. The new adventure starts today.

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But where their future lies is dependent on the next seven days.

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It's got to be right for both of us.

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Back in the UK,

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Debbie and Lee Daniels live in West Sussex

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with their beloved dog Merlin.

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As soon as we saw him, we were like, yep, yep.

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-Fell in love with him straightaway.

-That's what we want.

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-We'll have him. We'll have him.

-He took to us, as well, which is good.

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The couple met online ten years ago and after a whirlwind romance

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Lee decided the time was right for a very decent proposal.

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I tossed a coin and it was heads or tails whether I did or didn't

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and I kept tossing the coin until I got the yesses that I needed.

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Debbie and Lee were married in 2008

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against the dramatic backdrop of the Arctic Circle in Lapland.

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I got taken by reindeer in a sleigh down to the ice chapel.

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I wore a traditional wedding dress, with a fake fur wrap

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which didn't really keep me that warm.

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And I had cold feet legitimately.

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-Which was good.

-Yeah.

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It was magical, it was freezing.

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But I would do it again.

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It was a fairy tale moment for Debbie,

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who'd witnessed real tragedy in her teens.

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When I was 18, my mum and stepdad were in the Purley train crash.

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Unfortunately, my stepdad lost his life and my mum was hospitalised

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for a couple of weeks. Had sort of major surgery.

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With two young sisters left without a father,

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Debbie sacrificed her life as a nanny in London

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to move home and help out.

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I tried really hard when they were younger to give them as much as I could.

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We did all the days out,

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all the things that they would have done had they had a dad.

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With her sisters all grown up,

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Debbie and Lee's marriage marked an exciting new chapter

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and the couple were delighted when, after failed IVF,

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Debbie fell pregnant naturally.

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Sadly, their joy was short-lived.

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Unfortunately, we lost that baby and I had to go in for surgery.

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Managed to get pregnant again a couple of times and each of them...

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..we lost both of those babies as well.

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It was very early on, but obviously they were still very special.

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Going to start me off now.

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I'd never even entertained the thought of having children

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and the first time that we fell pregnant,

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it was like I'd won the lottery. It was an amazing feeling.

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And then when it was taken away from us, it was like being just punched.

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A difficult few years followed as the couple faced the fact

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they couldn't have children of their own.

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Our lives haven't gone the way we thought it would.

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You know, we moved into a home that would be a family home.

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We bought a car that would be a family car.

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It's very hard when everyone else around us seems to be getting

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the dream that we haven't got.

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Now, after so much sadness, they're desperate for change

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and a brief visit to the country ten years ago

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has led Debbie to suggest that could be in New Zealand.

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The way of life seems easier, but I think it's just very similar,

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so I don't think it'll be such a culture shock.

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You'll never forget the bad things that have happened in your life,

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they'll always be with you,

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but I think it may well be a distraction.

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New Zealand offers possibly the best of everything, really.

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But while Lee would jump in feet-first,

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Debbie's dragging her heels, which is becoming

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a bit of a sticking point.

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He knows that I'm more worried than he is and he gets a bit

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cross sometimes that I'm looking too much into it, I think.

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Debbie is a lot more tentative than I am.

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She'll want to cross the Ts and dot the Is, basically.

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Topping the list of Debbie's concerns is the thought of giving up

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her role as a play specialist for children at a local hospital.

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I love doing the job I do.

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I give the children 100%, as far as I know.

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More than 100%. When I've been at work and seen you

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with the children it's incredible how you actually can

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interact with them and how they relate to you and vice versa.

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Thank you.

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Debbie faces some tough decisions and there's one part of their lives

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she definitely won't leave behind.

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Merlin isn't a replacement for a child, but he is what we've got.

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He is all we have. You know,

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he is ours and he is very special and he knows he is.

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-He's a bit spoiled.

-Spoilt rotten.

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After years of heartache, the Daniels now face just seven days

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to discover whether moving to the other side of the world

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really can give them the fresh start they deserve.

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This is a whole life-changing adventure.

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Other than getting married, this is the biggest thing I've ever done.

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And I don't know if I can do it.

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To find out if life really could be better down under,

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the Daniels are visiting Auckland on New Zealand's North Island.

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They're staying in Takapuna,

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a coastal suburb around seven miles from the city centre.

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Boasting a beach and stretches of walking trails,

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the air is a haven for people seeking a more relaxed pace to life.

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But what will the couple make of their home for the week?

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-Oh.

-Here we go.

-Just in this one?

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Here we go.

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Oh, God.

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Whoops, it's a bumpy start!

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Oh. Nice little garden.

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-This is ideal.

-Yeah.

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Not sure about the sort of gargoyley faces.

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Inside, things fare a little better.

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-Oh, my word.

-Oh, very nice.

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-Let's leave them there.

-Very modern.

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Decent sized telly, as well.

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Let's go and explore.

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It doesn't take long before they're feeling at home.

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-Pictures of doggies, reminds us of Merlin.

-Yeah.

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And after the long journey, there's only one thing for it.

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-Do you want a cup of tea?

-Teabag. I'd love a cup of tea,

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-thank you very much.

-Have you found sugar? No.

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Well, once they find what they need.

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-This could take a while.

-Aha. Hang on.

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Outside, Lee's already won over.

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This is so peaceful. It's what I want in life, peace and quiet.

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Debbie, on the other hand, can't conceal her concerns.

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I mean, I've got more fears than you have.

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I look at the practical side and you're...

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You're just going to jump feet-first, aren't you, really?

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-Finance is the thing that worries me.

-Financial security.

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As long as it's no worse in comparison.

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Well, we'll have to see.

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In the UK, the Daniels live in a four-bedroom detached house

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in the village of Angmering in Sussex,

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and it's a place they're proud to call their own.

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It's not a show home. But we don't care about that, do we?

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No. I've always had in my mind the type of home I want to live in.

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This is pretty much it.

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But a new life down under would mean a new house

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and they've dreamt up quite a wish list.

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-A nice outdoor space.

-Yeah.

-Barbecue area.

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Somewhere to put a hot tub, maybe.

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-Cinema room.

-We're not asking for much.

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If they do move,

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the couple's budget to buy a house in New Zealand is £350,000.

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I'm hoping, rightly or wrongly,

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that when we walk into the properties out there,

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they have the wow factors.

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Today, we'll show Debbie and Lee three properties.

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One of which could be their dream home.

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Only after they've seen each house, will they find out its value.

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The couple are exploring suburbs on Auckland's North Shore,

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a much sought-after area for those wanting coastal living,

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but how far will their money stretch?

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To kick things off, the couple head for Milford.

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Despite being only seven miles from the city centre,

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the area has a village feel, and having a beach

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makes it a great fit for dog lovers like the Daniels.

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Oh, this is it.

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So, will this north-facing brick house

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get their search off to a good start?

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-Nice well-kept grass.

-Yeah, it's maintainable.

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Hopefully, inside is in good nick, too.

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-OK. Oh, long corridor.

-That's nice.

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Right, onto the first room.

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Fairly small lounge compared to ours.

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-Yeah.

-But as long as you can get your telly on the wall.

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Yeah, telly can go there.

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Now, that's resolved, it's onto the kitchen-dining area.

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-A little bit compact, but...

-Adequate.

-Yeah.

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I just think we'd have to downsize our furniture.

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But there could be more space than they think.

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Right, into this corridor...

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which does remind me of a Doctor Who...

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Yeah, you could sort of open this door and there'd be...

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-A fantasy world, or...

-Yeah, I was thinking more aliens.

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It's not very friendly looking.

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Now Debbie's brought them back down to Earth,

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they check out the master bedroom.

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-Yeah, it is.

-The whole property's a little bit outdated from what we've

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-seen so far.

-It's 40-odd years old, so, yeah, it needs a bit of a...

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A bit of tender love and care.

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Perhaps DIY-loving Lee could give it a spruce up.

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I think you can definitely work on it.

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By the third bedroom, though, Debbie's lost heart.

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There's not a lot to be done. You could move straight in.

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Yeah, I wouldn't move in.

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In the hallway, Lee finds something to cause alarm.

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Look at that electrics!

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I'd have a fit if that was in our house. God!

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Hopefully, outside will give them less cause for concern.

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Oh, look at that, it's grapevine, look.

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We could make our own wine. New Zealand wine.

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I think you need a bit more than those.

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I think the garden is actually the best bit.

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But is it enough to change their view?

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Yeah, too dated, too small.

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It doesn't give you that tingly feeling that I like to get.

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The house hasn't tickled their fancy.

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How much do they think it costs?

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I don't think I'd pay more than about 280.

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Yeah. Sort of looking at £280,000, £300,000 worth.

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Are you ready? Go on, then.

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-Good grief!

-Yeah.

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£393,000.

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Yikes!

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That's around £40,000 over budget.

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There must be something we don't know, obviously.

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I was going to say. Perhaps you get eternal youth or something

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-from the air.

-Based on this price...

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-Yeah.

-I don't think we could afford to move.

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-No.

-What time's the flight back to the UK?

-Yeah.

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It's not the best start, but before Debbie packs her bags,

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there are two more houses to view.

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-Next.

-To the next one.

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Hopefully the next one will be more to their liking.

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It's situated in Torbay,

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a more rural suburb around 30 miles from central Auckland.

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With several beaches and a regional park on it's doorstep,

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the area can offer the Daniels the leisurely lifestyle they're after.

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Driveway.

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But will this three-bedroom house be enough

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to ward off some of Debbie's doubts?

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-Burglars be warned.

-Yeah.

-Of what?

-Merlin.

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Yeah.

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I'm getting my tingle.

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Getting my tingling.

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Definitely a good sign.

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Oh, yeah, that's much better.

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-Much more open.

-Yeah, more spacious.

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We could actually get our furniture in this one.

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Yeah, definitely. Well, we'd need a bit more furniture, possibly.

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With more space to play with, will the kitchen get a thumbs up too?

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Certainly a bigger, better kitchen than the previous one.

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To be quite honest, I think I'd remodel the kitchen.

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Hopefully, the master bedroom is more up to spec.

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-Oh, look.

-I've spotted something.

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A walk-in wardrobe!

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It's far away from the lounge and everything.

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-Yeah.

-So that it can actually be quite peaceful.

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Separate area for if we have an argument.

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Surely not, Lee!

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-Right, shall we have a look in here?

-Go on, then.

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-Is this going to be good or bad?

-Drumroll for this one.

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Oh, OK.

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Mmm...

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Debbie doesn't sound convinced.

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-Bigger than the one at home.

-Oh, yeah, no, it's big.

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It just needs updating.

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Moving outside...

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What we got here? Merlin's area.

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Yeah, I'm not quite sure what it is.

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At least it's an area that's closed off for him to run around in.

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Debbie's not sold.

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But Lee spots something to lighten the mood.

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I haven't seen one of those windmill things for years.

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The old man goes...

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-It's lovely.

-Do you like that?

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With the back garden falling short,

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the couple take a closer look at what's out front.

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This is actually nicer, I think, than the other side.

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Yeah, I could quite happily sit out here in the evening.

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Tropical plants, as well.

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-Bird of paradise.

-Bird of paradise, that's the one.

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I can't remember the Italian name, but...

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Birdio paradiso.

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Molto bene, Lee.

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But will the price of the house roll off the tongue as easily?

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I'm going to say 325.

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I'm going to go a lot less than the last property.

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325. OK. 345.

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Time to turn the card.

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SHE GASPS

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£428,000.

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That's almost £80,000 over budget.

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-Nice, but it's not amazing.

-It is nice.

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I would rather downsize at home than actually move all this way

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and risk everything.

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Debbie's losing faith.

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Can property three get things back on track?

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It looks... The area looks like it's worth the money.

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Because it looks very clean.

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It looks very tidy.

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For the final viewing, the couple head for the area of Forest Hill,

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a popular suburb just eight miles from the city centre.

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Nearby beaches and a park said to be one of Auckland's most popular

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for dog walking make it ideal for the Daniels.

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We think this modern three-bedroom house could be their dream home.

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Question is, will they agree?

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Ah, this looks good. Shall we go and have a peruse?

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Yeah, let's go and have a look.

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-Oh, very nice.

-Oh, yes.

-Very sort of designerish.

0:17:370:17:41

-Modern.

-Oh, yes.

0:17:410:17:43

Yeah. Yeah. I got the same thing when we moved into our house.

0:17:430:17:47

So far, so good.

0:17:470:17:49

-Dining area.

-Yeah. We'd still get the table in,

0:17:500:17:53

but then most of the time, you'd be out there.

0:17:530:17:56

This is 100 times better than the other two.

0:17:570:18:00

It is. That also means that the price could be...

0:18:000:18:02

-Yeah.

-Could be way up there.

-Exactly.

0:18:020:18:04

You know, you fall in love with something that in actual fact...

0:18:040:18:07

You can't afford.

0:18:070:18:09

Cautious, but curious, they check out the kitchen.

0:18:090:18:12

-Very nice.

-So it's got a work surface like we have.

0:18:120:18:15

Yeah. It's got little sparkly bits.

0:18:150:18:18

Just rejig it a little bit.

0:18:180:18:20

If we wanted like the American fridge freezer, might fit in there.

0:18:200:18:23

Just take out a cupboard.

0:18:230:18:25

Debbie's already redesigning.

0:18:250:18:27

I like that clock. That's well funky.

0:18:270:18:29

The clock comes with the house.

0:18:290:18:31

Buy the clock and the house can be free.

0:18:310:18:33

Not sure it works like that, Lee.

0:18:330:18:35

-It's the first house that we've actually had to go upstairs.

-That's true.

0:18:350:18:38

Things are looking up.

0:18:380:18:39

Bedroom. Oh, it's bigger than you think, actually.

0:18:390:18:42

Oh, yeah. I like the funky triangle window.

0:18:420:18:45

Your challenge would be getting a blind for the triangle window.

0:18:450:18:48

Will the bathroom shape up nicely, too?

0:18:510:18:53

Ah, now, that's better. That's proper.

0:18:530:18:56

-It's certainly big, isn't it?

-I wouldn't want to change it.

0:18:560:18:59

-It would just be fine.

-No, you wouldn't need to change it.

-No.

0:18:590:19:01

Hopefully, the master bedroom will be to their taste, too.

0:19:010:19:04

This is definitely what we're talking about.

0:19:040:19:06

It's sort of a blank canvas, really, isn't it?

0:19:060:19:09

Oh, and it's got an en-suite.

0:19:090:19:11

Look at the size of it. It's ginormous.

0:19:110:19:14

Yeah, that's mine. There's yours.

0:19:140:19:16

I'll use the main bath. Much better.

0:19:160:19:18

Every box has been ticked so far.

0:19:180:19:21

And there's more to come.

0:19:210:19:23

The added feature of a balcony is sure to impress.

0:19:230:19:26

This is glorious.

0:19:260:19:27

Knowing what an impetuous person I am, this would be it.

0:19:290:19:32

The house is a big part, but, yeah,

0:19:320:19:36

the jobs and everything else are also a major part.

0:19:360:19:39

If you tick all the boxes, all the other bits and pieces,

0:19:390:19:42

then this would be the icing on the cake.

0:19:420:19:45

Could the back garden be the cherry on top?

0:19:450:19:48

I can just see us sitting out here with a glass of something or other

0:19:480:19:52

with our dinner and people round the table.

0:19:520:19:55

Property three is proving popular with the Daniels.

0:19:550:19:58

But with £350,000 to spend, can they really afford the dream house?

0:19:580:20:03

Right, I'm going to go for 470.

0:20:030:20:09

That's less than the last one.

0:20:090:20:11

Yeah, but I think different area.

0:20:110:20:12

I'm going to the surprise.

0:20:120:20:14

OK. You ready?

0:20:140:20:15

-Yes.

-Sure?

0:20:150:20:17

Yeah.

0:20:170:20:18

-£490,000.

-Yay.

0:20:220:20:24

That's almost £150,000 over budget.

0:20:240:20:29

Are you going to cry on telly?

0:20:310:20:33

-No.

-The reality is, we can't afford houses

0:20:330:20:36

in the areas we're looking in.

0:20:360:20:38

Until it comes to the point when we know how much were going to earn.

0:20:380:20:41

If we're suddenly going to earn double what we earn now,

0:20:410:20:43

then it is achievable.

0:20:430:20:45

Lee's hopeful, but Debbie's feet are staying firmly on the ground.

0:20:450:20:49

It's got to be the whole package, not just the house.

0:20:490:20:52

The reality of New Zealand property prices has been a real eye-opener

0:20:560:21:01

for the Daniels. Property one was only slightly over budget,

0:21:010:21:04

but too cramped and dated for Debbie and Lee.

0:21:040:21:07

The higher price tag of property two meant more space indoors,

0:21:080:21:12

but it fell short outdoors.

0:21:120:21:14

The final property proved the potential dream home for Lee,

0:21:170:21:21

but coming in well over budget put it financially out of reach for now.

0:21:210:21:25

So, based on their day of house-hunting,

0:21:270:21:30

will they opt for New Zealand or the UK?

0:21:300:21:33

-New Zealand!

-Undecided.

0:21:420:21:44

I'm surprised that you went undecided.

0:21:470:21:49

I'm not 100% either way, so...

0:21:490:21:51

-Wow. Gosh.

-You never know, you never know.

0:21:510:21:54

Could Debbie's undecided vote be a sign of trouble on the horizon

0:22:040:22:09

or will a day exploring employment opportunities give her

0:22:090:22:12

the confidence she needs to pursue the couple's dream move down under?

0:22:120:22:16

Back in the UK, Lee has spent almost 30 years working

0:22:180:22:21

as an alarm-service engineer.

0:22:210:22:23

Over the years, I've met some wonderful customers

0:22:230:22:26

and built up a great rapport with them. You know, you go in there,

0:22:260:22:28

do the job and then have a cup of tea and a biscuit

0:22:280:22:31

and a good chat.

0:22:310:22:33

Debbie is equally as fulfilled in her role as a play specialist

0:22:330:22:37

for children on a hospital burns ward.

0:22:370:22:39

So, every day, I come in and meet as many children as I can.

0:22:400:22:44

They're all in here waiting for surgery,

0:22:440:22:46

or treatments. I just seem to be able to help them...

0:22:460:22:49

..in their day-to-day worries.

0:22:500:22:52

But while Lee's ready for the new opportunities New Zealand might bring...

0:22:550:22:59

I've recently enquired about becoming a retained firefighter.

0:22:590:23:02

I think it's a fantastic occupation and I'd hope to look into that

0:23:020:23:06

possibly in New Zealand as well.

0:23:060:23:08

Debbie won't find changing jobs so easy.

0:23:110:23:14

I love working here and it's going to have to be a very good place

0:23:140:23:18

to move to that will take me away.

0:23:180:23:20

A move to New Zealand is dependent on the couple finding jobs

0:23:230:23:27

they'd both be happy with.

0:23:270:23:29

Getting the right job with the right benefits

0:23:290:23:31

is a major, major part of this.

0:23:310:23:33

Not being any worse off than we would be in the UK.

0:23:330:23:36

We've arranged for Lee to visit a security firm in central Auckland

0:23:360:23:39

where he's met by director of human resources, Robin Pope.

0:23:390:23:43

-Welcome, Lee. Nice to meet you.

-Hello. Thank you very much.

0:23:430:23:45

Come this way.

0:23:450:23:46

Lee wastes no time in finding out if his skills will be recognised.

0:23:460:23:50

Your experience and your qualifications

0:23:510:23:53

are quite transferable and here in New Zealand we run on

0:23:530:23:55

the same electrical platform,

0:23:550:23:57

so that would actually be quite a nice fit for you.

0:23:570:23:59

That's good news.

0:23:590:24:01

Next, Lee wants to know about work hours.

0:24:010:24:04

He currently works at around 37 and a half hours per week.

0:24:040:24:08

The hours of work are 40 hours a week.

0:24:080:24:10

I guess it would be the same as in the UK.

0:24:100:24:12

-Is there call-out 24 hours?

-It is, yeah.

0:24:120:24:15

People don't necessarily only need a security company between

0:24:150:24:18

8.30 and 5.00, so our guys are on a call-out roster

0:24:180:24:21

and they take turns in actually responding to the customers.

0:24:210:24:24

Lee's used to working out of hours occasionally,

0:24:240:24:27

but the longer week isn't the kind of change he was hoping for.

0:24:270:24:30

Meanwhile, as Debbie's job is less common in New Zealand,

0:24:310:24:35

we've arranged for her to visit a charity providing support

0:24:350:24:38

to families with children in hospital.

0:24:380:24:41

Back in the UK, I work with children and their families

0:24:410:24:43

on a one-to-one basis.

0:24:430:24:45

Here, I think it would be a lot more working with siblings.

0:24:450:24:48

Interesting to see if I can transfer my skills.

0:24:480:24:51

-Come on through.

-Thank you.

0:24:510:24:53

Obviously play...

0:24:530:24:54

After an initial tour of the centre...

0:24:540:24:56

..Debbie chats with the charity's director Anne Kirkpatrick

0:24:580:25:02

and she's anxious to learn more about the family liaison role

0:25:020:25:05

she could be eligible for.

0:25:050:25:07

It's really important for them to actually sit down with the family

0:25:070:25:11

initially, understand what's happening,

0:25:110:25:13

what the child's clinical situation is

0:25:130:25:16

and then figuring out how best we can support them while they're here.

0:25:160:25:19

How would my skills transfer over to working within this role?

0:25:210:25:26

The transferable skills that are so essential that I see you have

0:25:260:25:30

are the compassion for families, compassion for the children

0:25:300:25:33

and understanding what they're going through.

0:25:330:25:35

One of the things Debbie finds most rewarding about her job

0:25:350:25:38

is providing care for sick children.

0:25:380:25:41

Is it possible to work with children one-on-one?

0:25:410:25:43

You do have a lot of interaction with children in your day-to-day

0:25:430:25:46

dealings, but not from a...

0:25:460:25:50

therapeutical situation, really.

0:25:500:25:53

In this role, Debbie would support the siblings and parents of children

0:25:530:25:57

receiving hospital treatment.

0:25:570:25:59

But knowing she wouldn't be as hands-on with patients

0:25:590:26:01

could be a major stumbling block.

0:26:010:26:04

Back at the security firm,

0:26:060:26:08

Lee's hoping for support with a personal career goal.

0:26:080:26:11

In the UK, I've looked into becoming a retained firefighter.

0:26:110:26:14

Is that something as a company you support?

0:26:140:26:16

Well, we are a fire and security company and the Fire Service

0:26:160:26:19

is one of our customers and we have a number of volunteer

0:26:190:26:22

firefighters on our books at the moment as staff.

0:26:220:26:25

That's promising.

0:26:250:26:28

Now, the all-important question.

0:26:280:26:30

So, what sort of salary would I be looking at as an engineer?

0:26:300:26:33

So, we have people earning anything from 55,000 New Zealand dollars

0:26:330:26:37

per annum to about 65,000 New Zealand.

0:26:370:26:40

Lee could earn up to £30,000,

0:26:400:26:43

£5,000 more than his current salary.

0:26:430:26:46

But what are his chances of getting a job?

0:26:460:26:49

Security itself is a growing industry.

0:26:500:26:52

So, there's always growth for security

0:26:520:26:55

and always growth for tradespeople.

0:26:550:26:57

Back at the charity,

0:26:570:26:59

will Debbie's earning potential give her more to be hopeful about?

0:26:590:27:03

Anything between 50 and 70,000 New Zealand dollars

0:27:030:27:06

for a full-time role which is 40 hours a week.

0:27:060:27:09

She could earn around £34,000 a year.

0:27:090:27:13

That's over £10,000 more than her UK salary.

0:27:130:27:17

It might not be the perfect fit,

0:27:170:27:19

but how likely would it be for Debbie to secure work?

0:27:190:27:23

When I look at CVs, first and foremost, you know,

0:27:230:27:26

do they have that compassion?

0:27:260:27:28

Are they warm and open people? And I certainly get that

0:27:280:27:30

from you from the time we've spent together,

0:27:300:27:33

so, yeah, I think you'd have a good chance.

0:27:330:27:36

With their meetings over, the pair reunite in the park

0:27:390:27:42

to discuss the day.

0:27:420:27:44

So, did you get any idea of how much you'd be earning?

0:27:440:27:47

Be a bit more than I'm on now.

0:27:470:27:49

So, enough to... Enough to buy our dream house?

0:27:490:27:53

Maybe not the ones we've seen.

0:27:530:27:55

How many sort of hours would you be working?

0:27:550:27:57

40 hour week, so that's more.

0:27:570:27:59

If I wanted to do the volunteer firefighting,

0:27:590:28:01

-then they support that, as well.

-Well, that's good. That's positive.

0:28:010:28:05

They've already got people doing it.

0:28:050:28:07

How was your day?

0:28:070:28:09

It's a whole sort of different job.

0:28:090:28:11

You're still sort of working with families and children,

0:28:110:28:14

but you're not so hands-on with the actual sick child.

0:28:140:28:16

It's sort of a complete change, really.

0:28:160:28:19

So, when it comes to work opportunities,

0:28:220:28:25

which way will the couple vote?

0:28:250:28:27

Undecided.

0:28:320:28:34

UK.

0:28:340:28:35

I'm really surprised.

0:28:350:28:37

I thought you'd say yes.

0:28:370:28:39

I don't really see anything different at the moment, work wise.

0:28:400:28:43

-OK.

-I think yours was a foregone conclusion.

0:28:450:28:47

No, not necessarily.

0:28:470:28:49

Yeah, if you could walk into exactly the same job as you're doing now,

0:28:490:28:52

then I think you would have gone straight onto it.

0:28:520:28:54

I think I may have been undecided, possibly.

0:28:540:28:57

But, yeah.

0:28:570:28:58

With neither Debbie nor Lee satisfied they'd find jobs

0:29:040:29:08

they'd be happy with, the prospect of working in New Zealand

0:29:080:29:11

has left them questioning a move.

0:29:110:29:14

Hopefully, a day sizing up the active outdoor lifestyle

0:29:140:29:18

they're aiming for will be enough to get the dream back on track.

0:29:180:29:22

Debbie and Lee head to Waitemata Clay Target Club

0:29:280:29:31

in North Auckland for a morning of clay target shooting,

0:29:310:29:34

an activity Lee loves to do at home.

0:29:340:29:37

12 gauge shotgun.

0:29:390:29:40

Very lethal in the wrong hands.

0:29:400:29:43

First, a safety briefing.

0:29:430:29:45

When you're not holding it, you want to put it in the stand.

0:29:450:29:48

You can help me as we go, that would be great.

0:29:480:29:52

Novice Debbie might need a little encouragement.

0:29:530:29:57

Lee's quick to show off his mettle.

0:30:010:30:04

And this time together triggers Debbie's adventurous side, too.

0:30:040:30:07

Fab. Well done.

0:30:110:30:13

Next, we've arranged for the couple to meet up with expats

0:30:170:30:21

Scott and Lenny Clog and their dog Chilli,

0:30:210:30:24

at Little Shoal Bay near central Auckland.

0:30:240:30:27

-Who are you?

-This is Chilli.

-Chilli!

0:30:270:30:30

With introductions out of the way,

0:30:300:30:32

it's time for a coffee at one of the city's many dog-friendly cafes.

0:30:320:30:36

Are you going to bring Merlin out to New Zealand?

0:30:360:30:38

If we can't bring Merlin, we don't come.

0:30:380:30:40

-We've said that all along.

-Even me as keen to be here now,

0:30:400:30:43

-if Merlin can't come then we...

-Yeah, we don't do it.

0:30:430:30:45

Debbie's had more reservations than Lee throughout the week

0:30:450:30:49

and wonders how easy the couple found it to settle in.

0:30:490:30:52

It is really like living in England,

0:30:520:30:54

but slightly warmer and slightly smaller.

0:30:540:30:56

But if Merlin was here with you,

0:30:560:30:58

I think you guys would love this lifestyle.

0:30:580:31:01

For Lee, New Zealand represents new beginnings.

0:31:050:31:08

Moving out here would be a whole new start for us obviously

0:31:080:31:12

and the chance to maybe start our relationship again.

0:31:120:31:16

We've only been together for ten years,

0:31:160:31:18

so we've missed out on a lot of time together.

0:31:180:31:22

But he recognises what a move would mean giving up.

0:31:220:31:25

Leaving the job I'm in and Debbie leaving her job,

0:31:250:31:29

you're leaving behind almost a legacy.

0:31:290:31:31

The customers you've built up and her with her patients.

0:31:310:31:34

It's taking pride in what you do and leaving that behind.

0:31:350:31:39

It would make me think about it.

0:31:390:31:41

Debbie's hesitant about making the dream a reality, too.

0:31:410:31:44

I know we've come all this way to try it...

0:31:440:31:48

..but I'm still not sure.

0:31:490:31:50

I need a job and a house, I think.

0:31:520:31:55

Once I've got those things, then possibly.

0:31:550:31:58

As much as she wants change,

0:32:000:32:02

Debbie admits the week so far has been quite overwhelming.

0:32:020:32:05

I'm scared.

0:32:050:32:07

What we've got at home, I love.

0:32:070:32:09

And if we could bring that here...

0:32:110:32:12

..then I think I'd feel quite secure.

0:32:140:32:16

Yeah, I'm just not sure which way we're going to go.

0:32:180:32:20

A tough decision lies ahead of them.

0:32:220:32:24

For now, the couple have to decide on the lifestyle they prefer.

0:32:240:32:28

New Zealand or the UK.

0:32:280:32:30

New Zealand.

0:32:460:32:48

New Zealand.

0:32:480:32:49

-Yeah.

-So, what was good today for you?

0:32:530:32:56

I think you can't take away that the weather here is fantastic.

0:32:560:33:00

The people we met this morning were lovely.

0:33:000:33:02

Very welcoming. I knew you'd go for it.

0:33:020:33:05

Time together for you and me, and Merlin.

0:33:050:33:08

A first vote for New Zealand from Debbie could mean all is not lost.

0:33:150:33:19

But a new life down under has to make financial sense.

0:33:190:33:23

To fund a move, the couple plan to sell their home,

0:33:230:33:26

which they think is worth around £375,000.

0:33:260:33:30

To see if they're right,

0:33:300:33:31

we sent two estate agents round

0:33:310:33:33

and Debbie and Lee are about to hear their opinions.

0:33:330:33:36

Really good storage in the hallway.

0:33:380:33:40

Lovely sized south-facing lounge with a bay window.

0:33:400:33:43

A bit messy.

0:33:430:33:44

This is a well-laid-out garden.

0:33:460:33:47

Good decking area at the back with a hot tub, of course.

0:33:470:33:50

That looks messy, as well.

0:33:500:33:52

This is a great sized double bedroom.

0:33:520:33:54

Nice big bay window. Good wardrobes and storage,

0:33:540:33:57

and the en-suite as well is very handy.

0:33:570:34:00

This is actually a really good size room,

0:34:000:34:02

but that's lots of furniture in it.

0:34:020:34:03

I would recommend if selling to declutter slightly

0:34:030:34:06

-to make it feel bigger.

-Yeah, that's all your stuff!

0:34:060:34:08

Modern fitted white bathroom suite, quite small.

0:34:080:34:12

Cheeky!

0:34:120:34:13

In today's market, I value this property at £425,000.

0:34:130:34:17

For a quick sale, I'd value the property at £415,000.

0:34:170:34:22

-I like him.

-I would value this house at £400,000.

0:34:220:34:25

For a quick sale, I'd value this house at £385,000.

0:34:250:34:29

Yeah, I still don't know if that would afford us

0:34:320:34:34

any of the houses we looked at,

0:34:340:34:36

but it's obviously a step in the right direction.

0:34:360:34:38

Yeah. It is definitely a step in the right direction.

0:34:380:34:41

With that encouraging news, the couple sit down to consider other costs.

0:34:420:34:47

To help, we've provided them with a cost-of-living comparison.

0:34:470:34:51

And first to get the once over is the weekly grocery shop.

0:34:510:34:55

OK, potatoes, we buy a bag for like £1.75.

0:34:550:34:58

-Yeah.

-And here's it's pretty much double.

0:34:580:35:01

Well, there's a market. We'll start growing potatoes.

0:35:010:35:03

OK, dog food.

0:35:030:35:05

We spend roughly around £32 and here, £18.94.

0:35:050:35:10

Worst comes to worst, we can eat his food.

0:35:100:35:12

Let's hope it doesn't come to that, Lee.

0:35:120:35:14

A quick tot up of the figures reveals...

0:35:140:35:16

£5 cheaper, near enough.

0:35:160:35:18

So, with the grocery, it's a positive.

0:35:180:35:20

Yeah, it's around a pound a penny count and it's not much difference.

0:35:200:35:23

Next, they look at bigger monthly bills,

0:35:230:35:25

starting with mortgage repayments basing the figures

0:35:250:35:28

on the second property they viewed.

0:35:280:35:31

£872 difference.

0:35:310:35:33

So, it's pretty much doubling what we pay.

0:35:330:35:36

OK, mobile phones.

0:35:380:35:40

So, £50 it costs in the UK.

0:35:400:35:42

-39.24 here. So, a bit cheaper here.

-Minus ten.

0:35:420:35:44

Overall, they'd be paying out over £100 more each month in New Zealand.

0:35:440:35:49

Could be better, but it could be worse.

0:35:490:35:51

Moving on to look at salaries,

0:35:510:35:53

they discover together they'd earn over £1,000 more per month

0:35:530:35:57

and Debbie's taken aback by her potential pay increase.

0:35:570:36:01

For me, that's a considerable amount.

0:36:010:36:04

-£701...

-Nearly twice as much as me.

0:36:040:36:06

You'd be earning more than me.

0:36:060:36:08

And their higher income makes a big difference when they work out

0:36:080:36:11

overall they'd be £700 a month better off in New Zealand.

0:36:110:36:16

No, I thought we were going to be minus actually.

0:36:160:36:19

All the way along.

0:36:190:36:21

It's almost a no-brainer, isn't it?

0:36:210:36:22

But it's not so clear-cut for Debbie.

0:36:220:36:25

If I couldn't get a job, my choice of what I wanted to do...

0:36:250:36:29

You could still do the potential job you've seen as a stopgap

0:36:290:36:33

for a couple of years until the right job comes along.

0:36:330:36:36

I think for me, the actual persuading thing to come over here

0:36:360:36:39

would be to actually get a job in something I love.

0:36:390:36:41

So, we can basically throw away all of this.

0:36:410:36:44

Now you're getting stroppy.

0:36:440:36:45

My point is, you would give up all of this because of your job.

0:36:450:36:49

Possibly, yeah.

0:36:490:36:51

There are still questions to be answered before the couple can decide on their future.

0:36:550:37:00

For now though,

0:37:000:37:02

they have to choose between finances in New Zealand and the UK.

0:37:020:37:05

New Zealand!

0:37:110:37:13

New Zealand.

0:37:130:37:14

Good!

0:37:150:37:17

Any extra money a month is a bonus.

0:37:180:37:20

-Yeah.

-So, that's how I saw it.

0:37:200:37:23

How about you?

0:37:230:37:25

No-brainer.

0:37:250:37:26

New Zealand has passed the financial test for the couple.

0:37:340:37:37

But messages from friends and family could prove to be a bridge too far.

0:37:370:37:41

I think this is the bit I've been dreading, to be honest.

0:37:410:37:44

-Have you got your tissues ready?

-I've got one tissue.

0:37:440:37:46

-I'm hoping that's enough.

-No way will that be enough.

0:37:460:37:49

OK. Shall we have a look?

0:37:490:37:51

-Yeah.

-See what everyone is going to say.

0:37:510:37:53

Hi, Debbie, hi, Lee.

0:37:530:37:54

Hi, Debbie, hi, Lee.

0:37:540:37:56

Hi, Lee and Debbie.

0:37:560:37:58

Hello Debbie and Lee.

0:38:010:38:03

Hi, Debbie. Hi, Lee.

0:38:030:38:04

Hello, Auntie Debbie and Uncle Lee.

0:38:040:38:07

Hello!

0:38:070:38:08

I've known Lee for the best part of 20 years,

0:38:090:38:12

so he's always been about if anything needs doing.

0:38:120:38:15

He's very practical, very handy.

0:38:150:38:17

Debbie's my second eldest daughter.

0:38:170:38:20

When the two younger daughters lost their father and I was injured,

0:38:220:38:27

she helped me out a lot with Tiffany and Danielle.

0:38:270:38:32

Debbie has spent a lot of her life looking after people

0:38:330:38:37

and I think she's sacrificed her personal dreams to do that

0:38:370:38:41

and I think it's about time that she started thinking about what she wants for once.

0:38:410:38:45

-Oh.

-She will never appreciate how much she'll be missed

0:38:470:38:50

because she doesn't think she's that important.

0:38:500:38:53

She doesn't realise just what a fantastic person she is.

0:38:530:38:57

Debbie and Lee are hoping to maybe start afresh

0:39:010:39:04

and get away from a lot of things that have gone horribly for them

0:39:040:39:08

cos they've gone through a really hard few years.

0:39:080:39:10

On the other hand...

0:39:120:39:13

..something so personal...

0:39:140:39:16

..it doesn't matter where you are, you take it with you.

0:39:170:39:20

You can't get away from it.

0:39:200:39:22

I think you should really make a go of it and be happy.

0:39:240:39:28

I really want you to be happy.

0:39:280:39:30

We'd be behind you in every step of the way.

0:39:300:39:33

If it's not right for them, fine.

0:39:330:39:35

But if it is right for them, they must do it.

0:39:350:39:38

They must... They must do this for themselves.

0:39:390:39:42

Follow your head, listen to your heart and do what's right.

0:39:430:39:46

I think you should go for it.

0:39:460:39:48

They all want us to go.

0:39:480:39:50

I don't want you to go,

0:39:500:39:52

however if that's what makes you happy

0:39:520:39:55

then obviously you've got my full support, both of you.

0:39:550:39:58

And good luck making a decision.

0:39:580:40:00

-Yes, good luck.

-Bye.

-Bye.

0:40:000:40:02

-That was all very...

-That was what I expected from most people.

0:40:060:40:10

What my mum said...

0:40:120:40:13

..was absolutely how I'm thinking, I think.

0:40:140:40:18

You know, are we escaping?

0:40:180:40:20

Are we just running away?

0:40:200:40:22

Although largely encouraging,

0:40:350:40:37

messages from loved ones have affirmed the void Lee and Debbie

0:40:370:40:40

would be leaving at home if they do decide to move

0:40:400:40:44

and reminded them that no matter where they go,

0:40:440:40:47

the past is sure to follow.

0:40:470:40:49

So, as their final decision draws closer,

0:40:490:40:51

will the couple conclude their future lies at home or away?

0:40:510:40:56

It's been a mixed week for the couple down under.

0:41:010:41:03

And Debbie is battling with the decision in front of her.

0:41:030:41:06

Maybe this is the place we should come to

0:41:060:41:08

and make our dream a reality,

0:41:080:41:10

but maybe we can make our home life better.

0:41:100:41:13

She worries Lee's enthusiasm to move is masking a desire to escape their past.

0:41:130:41:18

We still get upset from time to time.

0:41:180:41:21

You know, when people have children and what have you,

0:41:210:41:24

and it is still an emotional...

0:41:240:41:26

..an emotional thing. And I think possibly Lee thinks by coming here,

0:41:280:41:33

you know, we're going to live one big happy life.

0:41:330:41:35

We love our house, we love where we live.

0:41:370:41:39

We've got good friends and family around us.

0:41:390:41:42

But maybe they're's something different, something missing,

0:41:430:41:46

that we might have here.

0:41:460:41:48

There's a big part of me that wants to go home

0:41:500:41:53

there's a big part of me that thinks, you know,

0:41:530:41:55

let's have an adventure, do something different.

0:41:550:41:58

I'm feeling more confused than ever.

0:41:580:42:00

So, knowing all they stand to lose and gain,

0:42:020:42:05

the couple now have to choose which path they'll follow.

0:42:050:42:09

Will it be New Zealand or the UK?

0:42:090:42:12

New Zealand.

0:42:270:42:29

UK.

0:42:290:42:30

There was a little bit of a hesitation from me,

0:42:310:42:35

but I think there's just too much pull at the moment for the UK.

0:42:350:42:40

I know what your job means to you now, I guess.

0:42:400:42:42

Now, I almost feel like I'm letting you down.

0:42:420:42:44

And vice versa.

0:42:440:42:46

So, shall we just spent six months in either?

0:42:480:42:50

Yeah, sounds like a good idea.

0:42:500:42:51

New Zealand has delivered mixed reactions from the Daniels.

0:42:590:43:03

And while Lee still feels it's somewhere they could be happy,

0:43:030:43:07

Debbie's less certain the grass would be any greener

0:43:070:43:10

on the other side of the world.

0:43:100:43:12

Wherever they decide to call home,

0:43:120:43:14

we wish them a long and happy future together.

0:43:140:43:18

Having put life on hold to help her widowed mum bring up her two young sisters when she was just 18, Debbie Daniels was delighted to finally meet her husband Lee 10 years ago. After a whirlwind romance, the couple believed their wedding in Lapland was the beginning of their happy ever after.

But things haven't quite gone to plan. After suffering several miscarriages, the couple were forced to come to terms with the fact they'll never have the children they hoped for. Now, desperate to put the past behind them, Debbie and Lee are contemplating moving to the other side of the world in pursuit of a fresh start.

Originally Debbie's idea, Lee is enthusiastic about making the move. Ironically though, concerns about leaving the job and family she loves in the UK, have led Debbie to now question the move. So will a trial week in Auckland be enough to seal the deal and put the couple on the path to a happier future, or will the Daniels decide there is no place like home?


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