Donlon Family Wanted Down Under


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Donlon Family

Tim and Diana Donlon are watching their grown-up children start to leave home. They think the solution could be to fly away themselves - to New Zealand.


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The Donlons have started to experience empty nest syndrome

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as their children begin to leave home.

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They think the solution might be to fly away down under themselves.

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I don't want to have any regrets in life.

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I want to go and have a look and explore

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and see whether it is for us or not.

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A trial week in New Zealand sees them check out

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some seriously palatial properties.

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-Oh, wow!

-This is nice, isn't it?

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What an amazing view!

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But will it be enough to get a pair

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of very reluctant youngsters excited?

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Is that where I see myself potentially living

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for the rest of my life?

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If I don't want to go to New Zealand, I'll tell them,

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but I'll also say, "Do what you want to do."

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This is it. It's make or break.

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We either go now or we don't go at all.

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Boasting some of the most spectacular scenery on earth

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and a relaxed way of life, New Zealand has been popular

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with British families seeking a new home since the 19th century.

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Around 9,000 families emigrate there every year,

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seeking their dream lifestyle in a country the same size as the UK,

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but with under a 12th of the population.

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The Donlon family from Yorkshire

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has reached a crossroads in their life,

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with dad, Tim, eagerly looking towards retirement,

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and mum, Diana, desperate to get back to work.

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Both feel New Zealand offers a good chance to kick-start their new life.

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If that's to happen, however, their children will need to be convinced.

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Across one week,

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they'll get to see the sort of life they could lead and afford if they

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relocated down under, before voting on whether to make the move.

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To get from the UK to New Zealand, Tim, Diana,

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Jasper and Ophelia have endured 30 hours in the air.

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In spite of Tim's meticulous planning,

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the marathon journey has taken its toll.

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What was fun was Tim made this graph where you were allowed to sleep and

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you weren't allowed to sleep on the flight.

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It did not work, the graph.

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So I didn't sleep at all overnight.

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It was tiring.

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Relatively tragic.

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But I got through it.

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Not a fan of long flights, then.

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But what about first impressions?

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The approach into Wellington looks really nice.

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I'm looking forward to seeing the country, what it has to offer.

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But Tim and Diana are only too aware of what's hanging in the balance in

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-the week ahead.

-Concerned about the job interview,

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if there is enough work or the right sort of work,

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and whether I would fit into that.

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And whether the money we would earn here would afford us the lifestyle

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we really like or whether it would just be too expensive to do.

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The Donlon family set off on a journey

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that could change their lives forever.

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Meet the Donlons.

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They are mum, Diana, dad, Tim, Ophelia, who's 21, Jasper aged 19,

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and Otis the dog.

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They live in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire,

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a familiar spot for fans of Last Of The Summer Wine.

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Tim and Diana first got together at university.

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She thinks it was because I liked her,

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but actually she had central heating and we didn't.

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Do you know what? He's got all the lines, hasn't he? Yeah.

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Things soon warmed up.

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The couple graduated, married,

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and thought of emigrating to New Zealand,

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but when Diana's dad became seriously ill,

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the dream was put on hold.

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We didn't feel it was an appropriate time to leave,

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so we sort of put it on the back burner.

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It just wasn't the right time.

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Then came the children.

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We had one and then, all of a sudden, we had four in five years,

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and it just sort of overtook us.

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It's been so busy, hasn't it?

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-Working...

-It's been crazy!

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Working 60, 70 hours a week.

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Fast forward almost 30 years,

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and the New Zealand dream is back on track.

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I don't want to have any regrets in life.

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I want to go and have a look and explore

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and see whether it is for us or not.

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Now is a good time to do it

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because in 15, 20 years' time we won't be able to do it,

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I wouldn't have thought.

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But a move will mean sacrificing

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a life they've grown to love in the UK.

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We've made some wonderful, wonderful friends up here.

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It's a very comfortable, friendly lifestyle.

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That's going to be a hard thing to give up, the community here.

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And that's not the only thing

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they could potentially be saying goodbye to.

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Tim's mum came to live with them

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when his stepdad died nine years ago.

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Leaving her behind would be a huge wrench for Tim.

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I think I'm the tidiest person in the world.

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You must be.

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She's probably a lot frailer than she used to be,

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so I'd be quite worried leaving her here.

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Tim's an only child...

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..which makes it even more difficult.

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Very difficult leaving me mum, to be honest.

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She's only got a brother down in Lymington.

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However, Tim's mum wouldn't stand in their way,

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and she might be persuaded to make the move too.

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She would never stop us fulfilling our dreams.

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We'd get the same arrangement in New Zealand,

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a little granny flat, which would be just as suitable for her,

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and will continue to keep looking after her down there.

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They'll also be leaving their two eldest children,

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who are settled in the UK.

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But Jasper and Ophelia are still dependent on Mum and Dad,

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who hope to persuade them to make the move as well.

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But it's not a done deal just yet.

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We've got to go out there and experience it ourselves

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to see if that is suitable for us and our lives.

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Like, we'd never stop them, but is that where I see myself

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potentially living for the rest of my life?

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I do think my decision will affect their decision.

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However, for me personally, if I don't want to go to New Zealand,

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I'll tell them, but I'll also say, "Do what you want to do."

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Tim and Diana are poised to swap country life in the UK

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for a fresh start down under.

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But with an age limit of 56 for entry to New Zealand,

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the window of opportunity is closing.

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If we're going to go, we have to go fairly soon,

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because we've only got 18 months left

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before we reach our sell-by dates for New Zealand.

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But never having set foot in the country before,

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there is a lot at stake.

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My worry is that, when we get there, it's nothing that we anticipated.

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And it's a very short period to try and properly understand somewhere.

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Does it hold the full package?

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Do we have to make any significant compromises and, if so,

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are we prepared to make them?

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This is it. It's make or break.

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We either go now or we don't go at all.

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What if they don't agree at the end of the week?

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We haven't lasted for 30 odd years by not compromising,

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so basically I do as I'm told.

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That's Di's compromise.

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Ultimately, though, the last word could be down

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to the last two children left in the house -

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Jasper and Ophelia.

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The reality is that they have got their own minds

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and will do what they want

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and they'll do that whether we are there or whether we are here.

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If they don't want to go, I'm really not sure.

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For their trial week in New Zealand,

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the Donlons will be staying in the capital, Wellington.

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Their temporary home is this three-bedroom property

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situated on the eastern side of the city with views

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directly across Cook Strait.

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First impressions are somewhat mixed.

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Oh, my God. It's like going into a time warp.

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I think it's really good. Really nice. I like it.

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It's like a 1970s house. Look at the furniture.

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What's in the apple?

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It's a lamp. Oh, my God. How weird is that?

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Mum's not impressed.

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Oh, well. She'll get over it.

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Well, we'll see about that.

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And now that Tim and Diana have finally arrived in New Zealand,

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their minds are turning to the realities of the week ahead.

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It's suddenly a lot more real.

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It's always been maybe a possibility,

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but now this is going to be one way or the other, isn't it?

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Which is a bit scary.

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And it's not long before the distance from home

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sinks in with Tim.

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Whether Mum could do the trip

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and whether she wanted to do it, well,

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that's what you've got to weigh up.

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Back in the UK, the Donlon family

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live in a large detached family house,

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nestled in the Holme Valley in Yorkshire.

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-Smashing house.

-It's a fabulous family house.

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Smashing garden. Great for kids.

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The house is set in two acres of land

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and boasts its own tennis court.

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It will be hard to give up, but Tim feels it's time to move on.

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We've done lots to it. But it needs a big family in it to enjoy it and

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make the most of it.

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So what's on their wish list for a house in New Zealand?

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Three to four bedrooms,

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so that we've always got space for family to stay.

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It would be lovely if there was an annexe or a garage

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that could be converted.

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If Tim's mum came over, she wouldn't want to live

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within our space, because we are too noisy,

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but somewhere quiet and self-contained.

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You are too noisy.

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Somewhere near the sea.

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I'd like somewhere where we can walk the dog,

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where the garden was enclosed and it was safe and secure.

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The Donlons' budget for a house in New Zealand is around £600,000.

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To find out what they could get for their money in the Wellington area,

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we'll show them three properties - two close to their budget,

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and a third that could be their dream home.

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The search begins in Kilbirnie,

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a popular suburb just 15 minutes from Wellington,

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but with a village feel so it should be right up their street.

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The weather is a little bit iffy as they arrive at this 1920s,

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four-bedroom, typical weatherboard home,

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but hopefully that won't cast a cloud over the viewing.

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-Well, it's a very busy road.

-It is a busy road.

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Quite an old property as well, by the look of it.

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It looks nice, though.

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Stepping inside, it's clear you really shouldn't

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always judge a book by its cover.

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Looks really small from outside...

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But it feels quite spacious in here, doesn't it?

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Encouraging start.

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Will it continue into the kitchen and dining area?

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-Oh, my goodness.

-That's a view and a half, isn't it?

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That's fabulous. I like this window seat, though.

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-This is rather nice.

-I do think the kitchen is a bit small.

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It's just different to what we're used to.

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OK, well, let's see if the living room impresses.

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-This is a posh room.

-Ooh, look at that gas fire!

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Brown is obviously in.

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Brown wallpaper, brown sofas, brown tables.

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It feels very separate and divided.

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Yeah, it's taken years to get our house to be something

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that works for us as a family, so I'd be quite happy to alter stuff.

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Yeah.

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Tim's upbeat, but doubts are beginning to surface.

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So if the Donlons are going to fall in love with this house,

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then upstairs is going to need to inspire.

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-OK.

-Huge.

-Wow, what a high ceiling!

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So, hang on. The road's there, isn't it?

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Gosh, I bet you get a lot of noise from that at night.

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And it's only single-glazed windows.

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There is no en suite, so you have to share the bathroom with the kids.

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-That's not cool.

-Oh, dear.

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But what about the other bedrooms?

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Not sure about the fireplace.

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Yeah. I'd sleep anywhere, but

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I'm not too keen about the sound of the road.

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It's quite a busy road.

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If there's enough wardrobe space there for me.

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Let's hope that shared bathroom shapes up.

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It's a bathroom you could have a party in.

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It's liveable, but it's not the sort of thing we're used to.

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OK. Let's see if outside saves the day.

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-This is nice.

-This is quite pleasant.

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You can hear the school, though, can't you? And the traffic.

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Not enough for the chickens, is it, and the dog to roam around?

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Need a bit more space out here, definitely.

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It's fair to say this house

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has proved to be a downer for the Donlons,

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but with £600,000 to spend,

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might they be tempted if it's a good price?

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I think it'd cost about £475,000, based on houses in the UK.

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Well, I think it would be 425,000 back in the UK.

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-Do you?

-Yeah. Right, when you're ready.

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Let's see what it's worth.

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Oh, my God. Really?

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£560,000.

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Wow. That is a surprise.

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That is a surprise. I didn't think it would be worth that much.

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I guess that's what you get for living in a capital city.

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We need to be further out, then, don't we?

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So you get more for your money. Definitely.

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With things off to a disappointing start,

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it's time to move on to property number two.

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Further out of town and overlooking Wellington Harbour,

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this property in Khandallah

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boasts five bedrooms and three bathrooms,

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so lots of space for family and visitors.

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But will it be in keeping with their taste?

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Initial signs are promising.

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-Nice.

-This is nicer.

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Yeah, wow!

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This is nice, isn't it?

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What an amazing view.

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Wow. It's got decking all the way around as well, which is better.

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Low-maintenance.

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And this would be great to chill in, wouldn't it?

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The dramatic setting has impressed Mum and Dad.

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What are Ophelia and Jasper's first impressions?

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Decent size, yeah. It's nice. Better than the one before.

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I fear it's going to be a bit ruined

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when they finish building that house over there.

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Plenty to digest in the living room.

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-So what's on the menu in the kitchen?

-Nice kitchen.

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Nice place to sit and eat.

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Not my style of sofas, but this is a really good workable space.

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100% better than property one,

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but I should imagine that's reflected in the cost.

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Don't you?

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We will soon find out.

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First, though, does the main bedroom hit the mark?

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-Ooh, open wardrobes.

-Nice.

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-Oh, here's an en suite as well.

-And it's got an en suite.

-Yeah.

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And that little balcony that's on

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the lounge is actually part of this bedroom.

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Very nice indeed.

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I would move and live somewhere like this.

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Don't want to jinx anything, but this is going rather well.

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And as with property one, there's more to explore downstairs.

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Plenty of space for friends to come back and...

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..and party. Yay!

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As the plus points add up, a hidden room ticks another box.

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A room off a room. Oh, my word!

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OK. So this could be a separate annex, then, couldn't it?

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And this could be a guest suite.

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-Granny suite.

-Yeah.

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-That's OK.

-This is OK. That would be fine.

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Or could the room cheer up the other two family members -

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Jasper and Ophelia?

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Right, come and have a look in here.

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See what you think of it. What would you use this space for?

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-I'm not sure. It's a bit weird.

-It's a decent-sized space.

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I quite like it. Decent views.

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-Better than the last house?

-I'd say so.

-A lot better. Yeah.

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OK.

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Less said about the other bedrooms.

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But how tight is this?

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Outside, meanwhile, the weather has closed in,

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making exploring a tad tricky.

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But the Donlons have seen enough to start speculating

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whether or not they could afford this property.

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I think this is the top of our budget, £600,000.

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I think it's more.

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I think this is about £645,000.

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My turn. You did the last one.

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-Go on, then.

-Let's find out how much it is, then.

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-Ah, it was over.

-£616,000.

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Bit disappointed. That's the top of our budget, is 600.

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OK, well, that's the second one down.

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Let's head off and see the last one.

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The final stop of the day is in Seatoun,

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four miles south-east of Wellington,

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on the coast overlooking Cook Strait.

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With schools, great shopping,

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stunning beaches with views and lattes on hand,

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it could be the perfect spot for the Donlons,

0:18:160:18:19

but will this spacious family home win all four of them over?

0:18:190:18:24

It's like a waiting room, this, isn't it?

0:18:270:18:28

It's almost like a doctor's surgery.

0:18:280:18:31

It wasn't what I was expecting.

0:18:310:18:33

-You kind of expect a grand entrance.

-I did, actually.

0:18:330:18:36

Downstairs reveals the main living area.

0:18:370:18:40

-This is nice.

-It is nice.

0:18:400:18:43

-JASPER:

-Yeah, I quite like it.

-I like it.

0:18:430:18:45

Decent-sized kitchen.

0:18:450:18:46

Massively better than the other one.

0:18:460:18:48

Looks like there's loads more space outside.

0:18:480:18:51

Get a good view as well.

0:18:520:18:53

Yeah.

0:18:530:18:54

Another room there. Very open space.

0:18:540:18:57

Yeah, but it's nice. It's just, like, flows through.

0:18:580:19:02

It's quite nice. I like it.

0:19:020:19:04

With a tentative thumbs up from the youngsters,

0:19:050:19:08

it's down even more stairs.

0:19:080:19:10

-Keeps going.

-The house that just keeps on giving.

0:19:100:19:13

This would be your family base, wouldn't it?

0:19:130:19:15

-Your family room.

-It's nice and homely.

0:19:150:19:19

Nice decking. Huge.

0:19:190:19:21

So with more positive vibes from Dad and the children,

0:19:220:19:25

what's on Mum's mind?

0:19:250:19:28

I don't like it as much as the last house.

0:19:280:19:30

I thought the last house felt a lot more as though you were out in the

0:19:300:19:32

countryside, whereas this one doesn't.

0:19:320:19:35

I don't know. It just doesn't feel right.

0:19:350:19:37

She's a tough cookie.

0:19:370:19:40

That's the way they crumble sometimes.

0:19:400:19:43

But can the main bedroom win Diana over?

0:19:430:19:45

Nice, big bedroom, yeah.

0:19:470:19:49

-Really nice.

-Yeah.

0:19:490:19:51

Very nice indeed. Probably the best

0:19:510:19:54

bathroom out of the ones we've seen so far.

0:19:540:19:56

-I think it's all right, this.

-Nice view.

0:19:560:19:58

House next door isn't too invasive.

0:19:580:20:01

I think the house, in itself, is absolutely fine.

0:20:010:20:04

I think I'm not feeling it, because it feels as though you're constantly

0:20:040:20:07

going up and down the stairs to find the rooms.

0:20:070:20:09

It doesn't make me not like it.

0:20:090:20:12

I quite like the property, yeah.

0:20:120:20:14

Anyway, I wouldn't have the final say. This one here would.

0:20:140:20:18

That look says it all.

0:20:210:20:24

Moving on or, rather, down.

0:20:240:20:27

More stairs.

0:20:270:20:28

-More space.

-The family bathroom, meanwhile, is something of a puzzle.

0:20:290:20:35

-This is a weird bathroom, isn't it?

-This is interesting, isn't it?

0:20:350:20:39

Very different.

0:20:390:20:40

Very different indeed.

0:20:420:20:44

There are sharply divided opinions on this property,

0:20:440:20:47

but will Diana and Tim agree on a price?

0:20:470:20:50

I don't really like this house, to be honest.

0:20:500:20:52

How much do think it's worth?

0:20:520:20:54

I think it's probably worth about £580,000.

0:20:540:20:58

I think it's way above our budget.

0:20:580:21:00

-OK.

-700,000, maybe even more than that.

0:21:000:21:03

-OK.

-Only one way to find out, isn't there?

0:21:030:21:05

-Let's turn the card over.

-£700,000.

0:21:050:21:10

That's a lot more than I anticipated.

0:21:100:21:12

I wouldn't give you that for all the tea in China.

0:21:120:21:15

I guessed it right this time.

0:21:150:21:17

You have to be right once in your life, though, don't you?

0:21:170:21:19

Well, Tim came up trumps.

0:21:210:21:24

But there have been mixed reactions to the properties the family have

0:21:240:21:28

viewed today. Property one's small entrance concealed a large interior.

0:21:280:21:32

But it came up short on living and garden space.

0:21:330:21:37

And a disappointing interior ruled it out.

0:21:370:21:39

The view from property number two wowed

0:21:410:21:44

and the modern interior impressed,

0:21:440:21:46

but reservations about space in some of the bedrooms left the family

0:21:460:21:50

longing for more.

0:21:500:21:52

House number three divided opinion, with Tim,

0:21:520:21:55

Ophelia and Jason succumbing to its charms,

0:21:550:21:58

but Diana definitely didn't,

0:21:580:22:00

and the price breached their budget of £600,000.

0:22:000:22:05

Based on everything they've seen today, when it comes to properties,

0:22:050:22:09

will the Donlon family choose home or away?

0:22:090:22:12

After a day of looking at three different properties in New Zealand,

0:22:120:22:15

we're going to vote which one we like best, New Zealand or UK.

0:22:150:22:19

-UK.

-Undecided.

-UK.

-UK.

0:22:270:22:31

Wasn't really value for money for what you got back at home

0:22:310:22:34

and I don't think it's worth giving up our house for.

0:22:340:22:37

Well, I still want to be here.

0:22:370:22:38

We just haven't found the right house yet, so I'm undecided.

0:22:380:22:41

It wasn't where I'd like to live, to be honest.

0:22:410:22:44

Well, it's only day one, so let's have a look and see what else

0:22:440:22:47

-New Zealand's got to offer.

-OK.

-Yeah. Come on.

0:22:470:22:50

A thumbs down for New Zealand on the property front is a disappointing

0:22:550:23:00

start. Things will have to improve for Diana and Tim to seriously

0:23:000:23:04

contemplate a move to the other side of the world.

0:23:040:23:07

Finding the right job opportunities will be key.

0:23:080:23:11

Back in the UK,

0:23:130:23:15

Tim has built up a successful career in construction management,

0:23:150:23:18

where he is master of all he surveys.

0:23:180:23:21

Working on everything from new builds

0:23:210:23:23

to restoring iconic buildings like Westminster Abbey,

0:23:230:23:27

it's a job that sees him earn £70,000 per year.

0:23:270:23:31

He is keen, however, to take a step back.

0:23:320:23:35

It'd be nice to be able to have a little more time

0:23:350:23:38

to do a little more things I enjoy

0:23:380:23:40

by reducing the sort of day-to-day responsibility.

0:23:400:23:43

And hopefully the skills I've got, I can use those across a number of

0:23:440:23:49

different types of jobs and a number of different types of industries.

0:23:490:23:53

There's just one thing that is giving him pause.

0:23:530:23:56

-It's his age.

-I'm getting on a bit now.

0:23:560:24:00

54, so I'm running out of time to go to New Zealand.

0:24:000:24:03

So I'll need to find an appropriate job in the next sort of 18 months

0:24:030:24:08

and get out there if I'm going to go.

0:24:080:24:11

Diana, meanwhile, wants to help Tim reduce his workload.

0:24:110:24:15

For the last few years, he's taken

0:24:150:24:17

the brunt of the financial responsibility,

0:24:170:24:19

and I'd like to be able to contribute in some way,

0:24:190:24:22

and maybe, if I did that, then we

0:24:220:24:24

could do more things together as a couple.

0:24:240:24:28

In recent years, Diana has continued to teach part-time,

0:24:280:24:31

and she does some home tutoring.

0:24:310:24:34

Well done. Very good.

0:24:340:24:35

OK, let's look at the next one, then.

0:24:350:24:38

But her dream is to return to full-time teaching in special needs.

0:24:380:24:42

So when I go to New Zealand,

0:24:430:24:45

I'm hoping to actually go into that side of education,

0:24:450:24:50

although I'm equally at home in a primary setting as well.

0:24:500:24:54

Tim, however, has got a red line that he won't cross.

0:24:550:25:00

What I don't want to do is be scrimping and saving

0:25:000:25:02

and Diana having to work full-time, I'm having to work full-time,

0:25:020:25:05

without having the ability to have

0:25:050:25:07

some time to enjoy the place, really.

0:25:070:25:10

To find out about potential roles in New Zealand,

0:25:120:25:15

Tim is meeting Brendan Turner

0:25:150:25:17

in a recruitment agency specialising in the

0:25:170:25:20

construction industry.

0:25:200:25:21

And from the off,

0:25:230:25:24

it's clear the foundation for Tim building a new career in New Zealand

0:25:240:25:27

could be pretty solid, if his CV is anything to go by.

0:25:270:25:32

From an education perspective and an experience perspective,

0:25:320:25:35

I think you are looking quite good.

0:25:350:25:37

I would certainly be able to generate a lot of interest.

0:25:370:25:39

What do you think the prospects are like at the moment?

0:25:390:25:42

I would tailor an approach to certain companies

0:25:420:25:45

and present you as a person who would give them the ability

0:25:450:25:49

to continue tendering for work and to take on more projects,

0:25:490:25:52

which a lot of people are currently turning away.

0:25:520:25:54

If I came over next week, how long would it take to get a job?

0:25:540:25:57

So you're certainly in a category of people who are going to be processed

0:25:570:26:00

a little bit faster but, worst-case scenario,

0:26:000:26:03

eight weeks from the time you get your job offer.

0:26:030:26:05

It's a fantastic start for Tim.

0:26:060:26:09

Across town, meanwhile, Diana is visiting Berhampore High School,

0:26:090:26:13

where she meets special-needs teacher Justine

0:26:130:26:16

and gets hands-on in the classroom.

0:26:160:26:18

Good girl. Ready, one, two, three, jump.

0:26:180:26:21

Next, she meets with principal Mark Potter

0:26:220:26:25

and straightaway, as with Tim,

0:26:250:26:27

her work experience is impressing.

0:26:270:26:30

When I looked through your CV and looked at the experience you've got,

0:26:300:26:33

it does transfer because you've got classroom experience as well as

0:26:330:26:37

specialist experience.

0:26:370:26:39

So you don't think I'd have too much trouble trying to find work?

0:26:390:26:42

You've just got to do your homework and find out where the schools are,

0:26:420:26:44

that the highest concentrations are of children

0:26:440:26:47

-with the learning needs that you can support.

-OK.

0:26:470:26:50

So how does the interview process work over here?

0:26:500:26:52

Say if someone like yourself, who might be coming from the UK,

0:26:520:26:56

it's not uncommon for schools to do Skype interviews.

0:26:560:26:59

It's certainly ticking all the boxes so far, but what about the salary?

0:26:590:27:04

A classroom teacher here, with your qualifications,

0:27:040:27:08

would start at £38,000, that's 68,000 New Zealand.

0:27:080:27:13

-All right.

-The maximum range here is 73,000 New Zealand,

0:27:130:27:19

which equates to about £40,000 per annum.

0:27:190:27:22

Well, thank you very much for having me here today.

0:27:220:27:24

It's been great to see the school,

0:27:240:27:25

meet Justine, and meet yourself, Mark.

0:27:250:27:27

Really enjoyed it. Thank you very much.

0:27:270:27:30

-Thank you. Nice to meet you.

-You too.

0:27:300:27:33

Back at the recruitment firm,

0:27:330:27:34

having heard his prospects for employment are good,

0:27:340:27:37

Tim is keen to know more about the other aspects of working in the

0:27:370:27:40

construction trade in New Zealand.

0:27:400:27:42

With work-life balance, what kind of hours do employees work over here?

0:27:430:27:48

Generally speaking, we do in construction seven o'clock

0:27:480:27:50

in the morning to 16:30.

0:27:500:27:51

In the summertime, we have sun here until about ten o'clock at night,

0:27:510:27:55

so getting off work at 16:30 allows you to go

0:27:550:27:58

and actually do the things that you came over here to do.

0:27:580:28:01

Everyone's in New Zealand to have a good time

0:28:010:28:04

and enjoy their life and have some fun with their family.

0:28:040:28:07

So if you were to come over here and express to somebody that one

0:28:070:28:10

of the things that got you interested

0:28:100:28:12

was the work-life balance, they would completely understand

0:28:120:28:14

because they have one and people that have a work-life balance

0:28:140:28:18

know the importance of it.

0:28:180:28:19

It's been a really positive day on the work front

0:28:190:28:22

for both Diana and Tim.

0:28:220:28:24

When they meet to compare notes, the mood is buoyant.

0:28:240:28:27

-Hello. How did you get on?

-Yeah, really well.

0:28:270:28:31

-The salary's OK.

-How much is OK?

-£80,000 plus a car.

0:28:310:28:36

-OK.

-So how did you get on?

-It was really interesting.

0:28:360:28:40

Really good. The salary's about 40,000.

0:28:400:28:42

You get extra increments, depending on how many units you do,

0:28:420:28:46

which are like leadership units.

0:28:460:28:48

-Good.

-Yeah, really good.

-Happy to work?

0:28:480:28:50

-Yeah.

-Excellent. Come on, then. Let's go and get you a job.

-Whey!

0:28:500:28:53

So when it comes to voting for work down under,

0:28:550:28:57

will they choose New Zealand or the UK?

0:28:570:29:00

-New Zealand.

-New Zealand.

-Yay! You're on board.

0:29:060:29:09

-That's pretty good.

-So why did you vote New Zealand?

0:29:090:29:13

I really like the school that I went to this morning.

0:29:130:29:16

It was multicultural. It was inclusive.

0:29:160:29:18

I thought it was a great school, great head.

0:29:180:29:20

-What about you?

-Well, I thought my skills were really wanted over here.

0:29:200:29:23

The money sounded really good.

0:29:230:29:25

So, yeah, sounded a really good prospect. Really positive.

0:29:250:29:28

-Better find a house we like, then.

-Yeah. And get out of the rain.

0:29:280:29:31

Yeah, it's just like home. It's raining like billy-o.

0:29:310:29:34

After a disappointing start with property,

0:29:400:29:43

a day looking at their job prospects has given Tim and Diana's

0:29:430:29:46

New Zealand dream a much-needed boost.

0:29:460:29:50

But Ophelia and Jasper are still far from onboard with the programme,

0:29:500:29:54

so will a day getting out of the city

0:29:540:29:56

persuade them about the merits of life down under?

0:29:560:29:59

The Donlons are an active family who love the outdoors.

0:30:010:30:05

So today they're off bike riding on Mount Victoria.

0:30:050:30:09

Before setting off, however,

0:30:090:30:12

it's clear it's not the only mountain they need to climb.

0:30:120:30:15

I think it's very early days yet as to whether the kids would come and

0:30:150:30:18

join us permanently in the short term,

0:30:180:30:21

because the last couple of days haven't been the best for the kids.

0:30:210:30:25

I didn't really like the houses that we saw.

0:30:250:30:28

I wouldn't give up our house for one of them.

0:30:280:30:31

So, at the minute, it wouldn't be something I'd want to do.

0:30:310:30:35

I mean, we've only been trotting round the city, really.

0:30:350:30:38

And that's not exactly my idea of fun.

0:30:380:30:41

So I'm excited to see what the trails are like,

0:30:410:30:45

what I can do.

0:30:450:30:47

Hopefully today they'll see a bit more of what Wellington has

0:30:470:30:51

to offer and hopefully that'll make their decision a bit easier,

0:30:510:30:56

if we decide to come over here and whether they would join us or not.

0:30:560:31:00

It's all to play for as they hit the trail.

0:31:060:31:09

For Diana, it's a shaky start and a tiny bit too intensive.

0:31:190:31:24

And I'm bound to fall off and break me neck, so I've given up.

0:31:240:31:26

Quit when the going is good, which is what I've done.

0:31:260:31:29

I don't blame you. But she's really

0:31:290:31:31

excited to see Jasper and Ophelia enjoying themselves.

0:31:310:31:34

This is right up Jasper's street.

0:31:340:31:36

If anything's going to sell New Zealand to Jasper, it will be this,

0:31:360:31:39

the fact that he can go off-road, doing this sort of thing,

0:31:390:31:42

and this is something new for Ophelia.

0:31:420:31:44

She's got a bike and they go all over,

0:31:440:31:45

but I don't think necessarily she does mountain biking.

0:31:450:31:48

So it's good to see her doing something like this as well.

0:31:480:31:51

So could we be on the verge of a breakthrough?

0:31:550:31:58

I'm enjoying it. It's a bit muddy, as you can see.

0:31:580:32:01

But, no, it's good fun.

0:32:010:32:03

Shame about Mum not enjoying it that much,

0:32:050:32:07

but she's not that nimble in her old age.

0:32:070:32:10

But, yeah, it's good.

0:32:100:32:11

Ooh, careful!

0:32:110:32:13

A bit of bike banter there.

0:32:130:32:15

Might actually be a good sign.

0:32:150:32:18

-OPHELIA:

-It makes a big difference,

0:32:180:32:19

doing something that you enjoy and the weather definitely, like,

0:32:190:32:23

sells it to you a bit more.

0:32:230:32:25

Better and better.

0:32:250:32:27

Next up, a spot of lunch.

0:32:270:32:30

And for dad, Tim, the day has definitely given the children

0:32:300:32:33

a bit of food for thought when it comes to the move.

0:32:330:32:36

I think the outdoor life will really appeal to the kids.

0:32:360:32:39

This is what they like doing.

0:32:390:32:41

They like being outside and on bikes and walking dogs and they're both

0:32:410:32:45

really sporty and love that sort of stuff.

0:32:450:32:48

But now it's time to find out if it's been enough to convince

0:32:480:32:51

the whole family to make the move.

0:32:510:32:54

After a day out biking, our lifestyle vote goes to...

0:32:540:32:58

So the Donlons remain divided.

0:33:080:33:11

-Why didn't you like it?

-Still not convinced.

0:33:110:33:14

-What about you?

-Still not convinced.

0:33:140:33:16

I don't know what New Zealand has to offer that England doesn't.

0:33:160:33:20

Ooh!

0:33:200:33:22

With Ophelia and Jasper still resisting a move,

0:33:280:33:31

Tim and Diana's New Zealand dream is on shaky ground,

0:33:310:33:35

and they've yet to discover whether

0:33:350:33:37

the finances down under will stack up.

0:33:370:33:39

The couple would sell their house in the UK

0:33:390:33:42

and hope to be mortgage-free in New Zealand.

0:33:420:33:45

They believe it's worth between £700,000 and £800,000.

0:33:450:33:48

We sent round two estate agents to give their valuations.

0:33:480:33:52

This is a really, really nice room.

0:33:580:34:00

Lovely period features,

0:34:000:34:03

lovely stained glass on the patio

0:34:030:34:05

doors leading onto the decking.

0:34:050:34:08

The flagged floors are absolutely gorgeous.

0:34:080:34:10

Original cupboards, I'm imagining.

0:34:100:34:13

Another nice, big bedroom.

0:34:130:34:15

It's got fitted wardrobes, it's got an en suite.

0:34:150:34:18

Obviously, you've got five bedrooms on this floor,

0:34:180:34:20

and you've got a choice of, I think, three or four upstairs as well.

0:34:200:34:23

However, I think the real selling point for people

0:34:230:34:25

who want to move into this area is going to be the views

0:34:250:34:27

out of that window and the fact that you can walk down into the village

0:34:270:34:30

and get your tea and coffee and your bread in the morning.

0:34:300:34:33

-Absolutely fantastic.

-Aww.

0:34:330:34:35

This is a really great kitchen.

0:34:350:34:37

I really like the fact that you've got the island unit with the granite

0:34:370:34:40

worktops and all the stools around it.

0:34:400:34:42

It just creates a really nice, sociable space.

0:34:420:34:45

That looks clean.

0:34:450:34:46

Really well-pointed again with a Belfast sink and the Aga.

0:34:460:34:51

Detached five-bedroomed house, really big plot, tennis court,

0:34:510:34:55

and now we've got this additional extra living accommodation

0:34:550:34:58

detached from the property.

0:34:580:34:59

It's going to be a very popular

0:34:590:35:01

-property if it comes on the market.

-Is it?

0:35:010:35:04

-That's good.

-Including the self-contained annex,

0:35:040:35:07

we've got 4,000 square feet of internal space.

0:35:070:35:10

We would value this property today at £850,000.

0:35:100:35:15

Oh, my God.

0:35:150:35:16

And if we were asked to achieve a quick sale,

0:35:160:35:19

that's exactly what we'd market it at, £850,000.

0:35:190:35:23

-Wow.

-In today's market, I would value this...

0:35:230:35:26

She might say something different.

0:35:260:35:29

..at offers in the region of £750,000.

0:35:290:35:31

For a quick sale, I would market this property at £700,000.

0:35:310:35:37

-Oh, that was interesting.

-I guessed about 800, didn't I?

0:35:370:35:40

That's pretty good, isn't it?

0:35:400:35:42

I was pleased with that. I think it's worth 850. Definitely.

0:35:420:35:46

The valuations are encouraging.

0:35:470:35:50

But how will day-to-day living compare with the UK?

0:35:500:35:53

This won't make that much impact.

0:35:530:35:55

We've provided a cost comparison between the two countries.

0:35:550:35:59

That's huge!

0:35:590:36:01

-What?

-How much the bread is.

0:36:010:36:04

What else is expensive?

0:36:040:36:05

SHE GASPS Gin!

0:36:050:36:08

-THEY CHUCKLE

-Oh, my goodness. £8.51 difference.

0:36:080:36:12

So free-range chicken, on average, costs 13 quid.

0:36:120:36:15

That's a lot of money, isn't it? So, basically,

0:36:150:36:18

the only stuff that's cheaper is shampoo and conditioner.

0:36:180:36:20

And when they total it up...

0:36:220:36:24

£417 more per month than we normally spend.

0:36:240:36:28

-Yeah.

-That's a lot. That's an awful lot of difference.

0:36:280:36:31

While there is a bit of a shock in the shopping basket,

0:36:310:36:35

there is a significant saving on the other big bills they'll face.

0:36:350:36:39

The other insurance is the same.

0:36:390:36:41

OK. We're saving about £300 per calendar month.

0:36:430:36:47

-That's good.

-It is, isn't it?

0:36:470:36:48

-Yeah.

-Yeah. I'm surprised by that.

0:36:480:36:51

With Diana working full-time as well as Tim,

0:36:510:36:54

when they factor in both their salaries, the bottom line is...

0:36:540:36:58

£33,408 per year

0:36:580:37:06

better off.

0:37:060:37:08

-That's you working full-time.

-That's me working full-time.

0:37:080:37:10

Tick.

0:37:100:37:13

Financially, it really is a no-brainer.

0:37:130:37:16

Yeah, I'm surprised. I am surprised.

0:37:160:37:18

Well, the sums have certainly surprised.

0:37:180:37:21

How are we going to go with the vote?

0:37:210:37:24

Based on the financial information we've received today,

0:37:240:37:26

our vote goes to...

0:37:260:37:29

-BOTH:

-New Zealand!

0:37:360:37:38

-We'd be a lot better off.

-Loads better off.

0:37:400:37:42

-That would be really good.

-Yeah. Brilliant.

0:37:420:37:45

So far, Tim and Diana have discovered the work,

0:37:510:37:54

lifestyle and financial opportunities New Zealand

0:37:540:37:57

could offer are hard to argue with.

0:37:570:38:00

But the dream could still stall as the family sit down together

0:38:010:38:04

to confront the reality of leaving loved ones.

0:38:040:38:07

Hi, Di, Tim, Ophy and Jasper.

0:38:100:38:13

Hi, guys. Hope you've had a lovely time.

0:38:130:38:16

-Hey!

-You all right?

-Hope you're having a nice time.

0:38:160:38:19

Not missing us too much.

0:38:190:38:21

Tim and Di are just really good friends, really kind.

0:38:220:38:26

I love Di's sense of humour.

0:38:260:38:27

The Donlons are a little bit mad.

0:38:290:38:30

They are. Good mad, good mad.

0:38:310:38:34

Tim, he's been a super son. Absolutely.

0:38:340:38:38

It would be like losing a brother, actually, if Tim went all that way.

0:38:400:38:46

I actually think I'd miss them more than I realise now...

0:38:480:38:52

..but I also think that it would be a fantastic opportunity for them.

0:38:530:38:58

Ophy is one of our best friends, so if Ophy goes,

0:39:000:39:04

it's a large chunk of our group gone, isn't it?

0:39:040:39:06

We worked out the maths and its 25% of our 100% group.

0:39:060:39:09

Jasper is now in University in Nottingham.

0:39:110:39:15

And he used to appear on our doorstep and say could he have his

0:39:150:39:18

dinner or come quite regularly with a bag of washing.

0:39:180:39:21

Out of all the parents that were going to up and leave

0:39:210:39:24

-to New Zealand, it was always going to be Di.

-It was the Donlons.

0:39:240:39:27

Notice that we say Di and not Tim.

0:39:270:39:28

Yeah, I think the idea has been laying dormant for a while

0:39:310:39:34

-for the pair of them.

-We kind of just thought it'd be something

0:39:340:39:36

they'd talk about but not do, so everyone's a bit shocked.

0:39:360:39:41

I think it would be difficult saying goodbye to them,

0:39:420:39:44

if it was a permanent thing, they were going forever.

0:39:440:39:48

I think we'd have a struggle saying goodbye to them at the airport.

0:39:480:39:51

Whatever decision you make,

0:39:510:39:53

what you've got to remember is that we're always there for you.

0:39:530:39:56

Hopefully it'll just be a jaunt up the M1.

0:39:560:40:00

So, Donlons, you need to make this decision for you.

0:40:000:40:03

Don't think about us too much,

0:40:030:40:04

although send us some sort of ticket in the mail

0:40:040:40:07

so that we can come and see you.

0:40:070:40:09

I trust you to make the right decision.

0:40:090:40:13

Whatever you want, you must do, and I'll go along with it.

0:40:130:40:18

What's that made you think, then?

0:40:190:40:21

I don't know. I'll let you know when you've told me.

0:40:230:40:26

At the start of the week,

0:40:260:40:28

Tim and Diana Donlon set out to convince themselves

0:40:280:40:32

and their youngest two children that New Zealand

0:40:320:40:34

could be the answer as they look forward to the

0:40:340:40:37

next stage in their lives.

0:40:370:40:39

Now, as they approach the final vote,

0:40:390:40:42

will the family come together

0:40:420:40:45

or continue to be split down the middle?

0:40:450:40:48

What would you do?

0:40:480:40:50

It's time for the Donlons to pack

0:40:500:40:52

up and get ready to make the journey back home.

0:40:520:40:56

For mum, Diana, and dad, Tim,

0:40:560:40:58

the trial week has been a mixed bag all round.

0:40:580:41:01

Weather wasn't so good, but look at it now.

0:41:010:41:03

So this is a real good end to the week.

0:41:030:41:07

Really lifted our spirits,

0:41:070:41:08

seeing the weather and seeing the countryside today.

0:41:080:41:11

Now we are here, it's absolutely ideal,

0:41:110:41:14

and maybe we should have done it a long, long time ago.

0:41:140:41:17

Jasper and Ophelia, however, have a very different outlook on things.

0:41:170:41:22

I didn't really like the houses we went to view earlier on in the week

0:41:220:41:24

and with the bad weather it just kind of shone

0:41:240:41:27

a negative light on it all.

0:41:270:41:28

Today's great, like. Really sunny and whatnot,

0:41:280:41:32

but the past few days have been pretty miserable.

0:41:320:41:35

Not much different to what we have back home.

0:41:350:41:38

It seems that heads and hearts are at odds when it comes to the move.

0:41:390:41:43

No, I think I've made my mind up.

0:41:440:41:47

I think I have. I'm not sure if the others have, but I have, yeah.

0:41:470:41:51

I think the hardest thing for them would possibly be leaving us behind.

0:41:510:41:56

It's given us a better idea of what the possibilities are out

0:41:560:42:00

here and now we've just got to make a decision as to what's right

0:42:000:42:03

for us as a family, not just what's right for us as a couple.

0:42:030:42:07

After so many years of dreaming,

0:42:080:42:11

it all comes down to this final vote.

0:42:110:42:14

Ooh. It was what we sort of expected,

0:42:290:42:33

however, their decision of course has a huge impact

0:42:330:42:36

on mine and Tim's decision whether we move to New Zealand.

0:42:360:42:39

What we've got to do now is go and explore this country

0:42:390:42:42

a little bit more, enjoy the warm sunshine,

0:42:420:42:45

and talk about it as a family.

0:42:450:42:47

Then and only then can we decide which way we're going to go.

0:42:470:42:49

The Donlons remain a family divided when it comes to whether moving down

0:42:540:42:58

under is ever going to be an option - for now.

0:42:580:43:02

But I get the feeling it's a subject that could be coming up around the

0:43:020:43:06

dinner table very soon.

0:43:060:43:08

Whatever they choose to do,

0:43:080:43:10

we wish them all the very best in the future.

0:43:100:43:13

The Donlon family from Holmfirth in Yorkshire has reached a crossroads, with dad Tim eagerly looking towards retirement and mum Diana desperate to get back to work. As their children are almost all grown up and starting out on their own, is it time for Diana and Tim to follow their long-held dream of living in New Zealand? It was their plan to move there years ago, when the couple first met at university. After graduating and getting married, they were all set to leave. But sadly Diana's father became seriously ill and the dream got put on hold. Then came the children. In a flurry - four in five years!

The practicalities of looking after so many babies and toddlers meant any move was put on the back burner - simmering for nearly 30 years! But now the New Zealand dream is very much back on track. Their two oldest children, Barney and Zac, live away from home and have settled in the UK. They have no interest in going, but the youngest two, Ophelia and Jasper, are mildly interested but will need a fair bit of convincing. They are both students, in full-time education and still dependent on mum and dad, but both are worried that any move would mean sacrificing a life and home they have grown to love in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

Can Di and Tim split up the family to follow their own dreams, or, worst case scenario, leave all of them behind in the UK to spend the rest of their days on the other side of the world without them? Tough choices ahead for the Donlons after a trial week in Wellington.