Atkins Family Wanted Down Under


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Atkins Family

Malay-born Roz longs to live in warmer climes but her husband Chris is very cautious about such a major move to New Zealand.


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Rossindra longs to live on the other side of the world.

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I've wanted New Zealand for so long, and all the points in my life,

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the big decisions I've made,

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kind of was aiming towards how we would get me to New Zealand.

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But her very British husband, Chris,

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is a lot less passionate about the move.

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To be honest, I can't see our lifestyle being very different

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to what it is now.

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Their differences have put them under pressure.

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So, for me, it is crunch time.

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I just hope Chris realises this.

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My concern is that she's chasing after a life,

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lifestyle that maybe isn't there any more.

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A trial week in New Zealand sees expectations fulfilled...

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The house ticks all the boxes and extra.

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..preconceived ideas challenged...

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This is the house I would move halfway across the world for.

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..and commitment questioned.

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I've got a bit of cold feet.

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Yeah, I'll be honest, I'm a little bit afraid now.

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Stay in the UK or go down under?

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It's all to play for.

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Famous the world over for its 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 in the country often

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referred to as the Land of the Long White Cloud.

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Chris and Rossindra Atkins

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are a husband and wife with two very different personalities.

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She wants to throw caution to the wind and follow her wildest dreams.

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He believes that slow and steady wins the race.

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Across one week,

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they'll put their approaches head to head as they see the sort of life

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they could lead and afford if they relocated down under,

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before voting on where their future lies.

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After a marathon journey flying from London to Sydney, via Dubai,

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and then onto Wellington, the Atkins family arrive

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at their final destination in surprisingly fine fettle.

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Flight was good. Piece of cake.

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The last 20 plus hours have been really fun.

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The kids have enjoyed it.

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I watched some movies, I saw loads of different countries.

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Little Sarah isn't quite as impressed as Lucy, though.

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It was so boring that I had to wait all the time.

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Rossindra's delighted to be a step closer to her dream.

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It's held its magic since 2000, when I first came here.

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So I do hope I fall back in love with New Zealand.

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But Chris is not committed just yet.

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A little apprehensive about the job interviews,

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and seeing what opportunities there might be for us.

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And if I'm suitably impressed, then I will be voting for New Zealand.

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If I'm not, I may be unsure.

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For now, at least, Rossindra's positively buzzing.

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Can't wait to go, let the magic begin.

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Let's hope the sun shines,

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as the family will need to soak up

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as much as they can over the next seven days

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before deciding on which side of the world their future lies.

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The Atkins family are Dad Chris, Mum Rossindra,

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Lucy, aged five, and Sarah, who's four.

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They live in the town of Bracknell, in South East England.

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Ever since the couple got together six years ago,

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talk of New Zealand has been a constant,

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sometimes sensitive subject.

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Chris has known about my New Zealand dream since day one.

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Something she's been banging on about

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ever since I've known her, really.

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It's a passion that all started when Rossindra,

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from an Indian community in the Malay Peninsula,

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visited New Zealand 17 years ago.

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Rose's dream is bordering on an obsession.

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My concern is she is chasing after a life,

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a lifestyle that maybe isn't there any more.

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It looks like there's tough discussions ahead for the couple.

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Any discussion about kids, money, finances, where we live,

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I bring the New Zealand thing up.

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Because I feel like, "Why don't we give it a try?"

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I do worry that she can be a little bit impulsive.

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Perhaps I'm the sort of balance to that.

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And it's having two young daughters

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that is driving Rossindra to make the move.

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I've always thought, if I had kids,

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I'd like to bring them up in New Zealand.

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I've grown up in Malaysia, where you're outside most of the time.

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You come back from school and, boom, you're outside.

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Things are different over here.

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So, the answer for Rossindra is New Zealand.

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And the time to move is now.

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In a few years' time it will be harder to take the kids

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out of school and move them down.

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So, for me, it is crunch time.

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And I just hope Chris realises this.

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Does Mummy want one?

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Yeah, I think I do take her seriously.

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And I've said I will look at the whole proposition,

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and if it's viable, then we can give it a go.

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But it looks like Chris is wearing his sensible hat.

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To be honest, I can't see our lifestyle being very different

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to what it is now.

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I think she'll be surprised by the climate.

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The climate in New Zealand is very similar to how it is in the UK.

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So, Mum and Dad are on different pages.

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But are the girls singing from the same hymn sheet?

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I would miss my friends and all my teachers

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and all my classmates.

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I'm going to miss David.

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The children are bouncing and Rossindra

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is bursting with anticipation as the trial week approaches.

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-I hope the dream is still alive.

-It hasn't become a nightmare.

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And things are as magical as they used to be when I first saw them.

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For Chris, however, it's all about the practicalities.

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The main thing that's got to be right about New Zealand is the work.

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And getting the right opportunity for us to support the family.

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It's fair to say that, when it comes to the week ahead,

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the pressure is definitely on.

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I don't want to be here in Bracknell at 60 years of age,

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looking after my grandchild and thinking,

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sitting back and thinking, "Oh, geez,

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"I wonder what would have happened if we'd tried out New Zealand."

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I don't want that to happen.

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Of course, there is always one other outcome.

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What if I'm the one who's inspired I say, "Yeah, let's go,

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"let's go tomorrow,"

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and now you don't want to go because you've seen what

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-the weather's really like?

-I'm a bit scared of that.

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For their trial week, the Atkins are staying north-east

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of Wellington in the Upper Hutt region.

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By the time they arrive at their temporary accommodation,

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it's too late for tiny tots, so it's straight to bed.

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Next morning, wide-eyed and bushy tailed,

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the family take in their new surroundings.

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I drew the curtains and it's absolutely beautiful.

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We were struck by the scenery, really. It really is beautiful around here.

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Despite having only been in the country a few hours,

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Rossindra's already imagining what life could be like here.

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I love it, the kids love it.

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And I wish I could stay forever.

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But she also knows there's still a lot to consider.

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I feel there is pressure, I should deliver to Chris.

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I hope Chris is honest enough to tell me that he loves the place

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and that we hope to start our life here.

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I don't think I'm going to buckle in the face of such pressure.

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But it has been her dream for quite some time.

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And, hopefully, we can make it happen. And I'm hopeful.

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It's a positive start, but the country will have to deliver

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in the next seven days if Chris is to fully commit to a life

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on the other side of the world.

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Back in the UK, home for the Atkins

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is a three-bedroom semi in Bracknell.

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And it's fair to say they like where they live.

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The house we've got

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and the location we've got is a very good one.

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We're a few minutes' walk from the school.

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And Bracknell is awash with cycleways, byways and highways.

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You can get from one side of the town to the other

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without even walking on a road.

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So, what type of property are they after in New Zealand?

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Physically, a bigger house, because I'd like to have a dog or a cat.

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It would be nice to have a house

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with a more open sort of kitchen-diner area.

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You can cook and you can see the family,

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and you have space for actually a dining table in the kitchen area.

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That would be nice to see.

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They'll have a budget of £320,000 to play with,

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but Chris isn't looking for anything fancy.

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We're looking for a modest house, something like we've got now,

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with a little bit of green space.

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Space for the obligatory barbecue.

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We can just chill out, put some loungers out the back.

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I don't think we're after a show house.

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We're not really show-house people.

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To find out what kind of home their money could get them,

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we'll show the family three properties,

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two based on budget and a third which could be their dream home.

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The search begins in Upper Hutt.

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Surrounded by bush-clad mountains,

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the township has become popular in recent years as prices in the

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Wellington area increased.

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What will they make of this four-bedroom home?

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Beautiful-looking place. I like the garden at the front.

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It's not wooden. You didn't want wooden.

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-It's all brick built. It looks good.

-Big thumbs up from Chris.

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And, inside, Rossindra is getting excited, too.

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Do you like it? I like it.

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The way you park at the front and you walk in through the front door.

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And the hallway is great.

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It's certainly bigger than our

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current home in the UK, so I'm happy.

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-I can't wait to see the rest of the place.

-A good start.

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This is the main living area.

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-Nice.

-It's very bright.

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I like the mural on the wall.

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-It is hard to miss, to be fair.

-It's much bigger than what we have.

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-And a dining area.

-I like it.

-The dining area's quite cool.

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It's all very positive.

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But it's not long before Chris begins to have doubts.

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Perhaps slightly dated.

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I think we would be looking for a slightly more modern look.

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Well, that's fair enough.

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Meanwhile, the girls know what they want.

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-Can we go and play outside now?

-Yes, you can.

-Yay!

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Mum and Dad, meanwhile, continue their tour.

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-After you.

-Oh, thank you.

-Next stop, the kitchen.

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-It's nice. Nice and compact.

-I'll be honest, it's a bit small.

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It would be nice to have a bigger kitchen.

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It could do with a little bit of modernisation.

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Well, it is a far cry from

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the open-plan kitchen on their wish list.

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I'd like the fact that I'm cutting and cooking,

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I can watch the kids and I can tell them, "Oi, sit down.

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"Oi, switch the TV off. Do your homework." And cook.

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You can't get everything you want in life.

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Unfortunately, that's so.

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-Hey, you got...

-I got you.

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Yeah, OK.

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So, let's scratch that. You can get some of the things you want.

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Aw, sweet. Moving on, however, styling in the main bedroom

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also fails to impress.

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Feels like one of the houses in the UK.

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It feels like your grandma's house.

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It does a little bit, yeah.

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Maybe the bathroom can wow them.

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-Hey, something's missing.

-What's missing?

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I'd prefer the toilet to be in here. Maybe it's next door.

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Let's go and find the toilet and see

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if we can break the wall and put it all in one.

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-Oh.

-Yeah, it is the toilet. So...

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I don't think you're really going to knock that together, are you?

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-We can't?

-I don't think so.

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Wait until you move in before knocking stuff down, Rossindra.

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With four bedrooms, the house definitely has enough space

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for the whole family and the double garage is an added bonus.

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And outside makes an impression.

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Oh, wow, it's lovely.

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-I love the decking area.

-So there is a bit of space.

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But the jury's still out.

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It's a bit dated. But it's got some life in it.

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-It's a bit like you, Chris.

-Oh, that's nice.

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There's life in the old dog yet.

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You can say that again.

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Steady on, Rossindra.

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Let's get back to business.

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Does the price fit the £320,000 budget?

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-Come on, then.

-OK.

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-Wow, it's £305,000.

-Wow!

-So that's within our budget.

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That's an impressive £15,000 under budget.

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-This is a steal.

-Yeah, I think it's really good value for the price.

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Let's hope this is representative of what we can find out here.

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Only one house down and things are motoring nicely.

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Can property two keep things on track?

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Lucy and Sarah are happy with child-minders

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and we're going a bit further north to Birchfield,

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about one hour from Wellington.

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Chris and Rossindra seemed smitten from the off.

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-It's certainly got the wow factor.

-I love the area.

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I like that you're almost driving into a nature-reserve area.

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I mean, this is somewhere I would look at to go and stay

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for a week's holiday in Wales or somewhere in the Lake District.

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And you can't get more beautiful than that.

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Off to a flying start, but will inside this five-bedroom,

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three-garage house continue to impress?

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-Look. Wow.

-It's certainly different from the first house.

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-Wow, yeah.

-And it's got the layout they're after.

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Yeah, it's very, very open-plan.

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And this is a huge living space.

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I think our living room is half of this.

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Once again, it's Chris who has doubts.

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The only concern I'd have here is heating it in the winter.

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It's a very big open space. Single-glazed windows.

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I think you'd need that wood burner.

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And Rossindra's initial warm glow

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cools as she gets worried about the price.

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I absolutely love what I'm seeing,

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but I think it might be a bit above our budget.

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Unfortunately, it might be.

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Onwards to the main bedroom,

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which unusually is on the ground floor.

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So will this put them off?

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I think this is a good-sized master bedroom.

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I like the built-in wardrobes, built-in cupboards.

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But Chris has spotted the flaw.

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Yeah. I don't know whether I'd be

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too happy close to the road like that. And downstairs as well.

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Normally we live upstairs.

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However, the positives keep stacking

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up and Chris is coming round in the en suite.

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-Yeah.

-The toilet is there, so I'm happy.

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Actually, it's nicely tiled, nicely finished, which is really nice.

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Yeah, I like it.

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Upstairs boasts another

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four spacious and very colourful bedrooms.

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It's huge up here. It's got real character.

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This is a house you'd be proud to have friends over and family

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over and say, this is why I moved halfway across the world.

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Sliding on into the main bathroom now.

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Aw, it's a family bathroom.

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-That is really nice.

-You can have a bath with a view.

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Mm, I hope that view is one-way.

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As they relocate downstairs,

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the outlook is good, because outside is magnificent.

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-Wow.

-There's a lot of space.

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The outside is lovely. They've done a lot with it.

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I've got my roses here, so I'm happy.

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-Yes, you've got roses.

-Rossindra is getting very excited now.

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Your allotment patch over there

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and you've still got the outside space for the kids to play,

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you can kick the ball around.

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In the beginning, Chris was sceptical about New Zealand -

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is he beginning to see the light?

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This is a place you would want to bring people to entertain,

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barbecue out the back.

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You could play your football, badminton,

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whatever you like out the back there.

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The house ticks all the boxes and extra.

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We have to wait and see how much it costs.

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That is the big question.

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What do they think it's worth?

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£322,000.

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Well, I think about £375,000.

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Oh, no, that's my dream home! Well...don't crush my dream!

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-That's why it's a dream home. Shall we see?

-Yes, come on, then.

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-How much is it?

-SHE GASPS

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£330,000. Wow, which makes this house pretty affordable.

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This is like a proper dream home.

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So are you happy with that valuation?

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I am super duper happy, Chris.

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Rossindra can hardly believe her luck,

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and there's still one more property to go.

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We've found what we think could be the couple's dream home

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and it's just ten minutes up the road from the second property.

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-Wow.

-Do you like it?

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-Yeah, I like it.

-It looks a bit neat and tidy for me.

0:18:150:18:19

Early indications of divided opinions.

0:18:190:18:22

Will the inside impress?

0:18:220:18:24

It's really, really well done inside.

0:18:250:18:28

It's new, it's modern, it's contemporary.

0:18:280:18:31

It's neat and tidy and that's up your street.

0:18:310:18:34

-Yeah, this is closer to my dream house than it is to yours.

-SHE CHUCKLES

0:18:340:18:37

-Yes.

-The kitchen, however, works for both Rossindra and Chris.

0:18:370:18:42

This kitchen is much bigger than the second house,

0:18:420:18:45

and I do like a big kitchen.

0:18:450:18:47

-But...

-I don't see us in this house, because it's very neat and tidy.

0:18:470:18:53

-It's much too tidy for you?

-Yes, yes. Yeah, it is.

0:18:530:18:56

The lawn is very well kept and the grass is green, it's beautiful.

0:18:560:19:01

Perfect for Chris, in other words.

0:19:010:19:04

I hate gardening, but I would enjoy cutting that lawn.

0:19:040:19:06

I would come home from work to cut that lawn.

0:19:060:19:09

It looks lovely.

0:19:090:19:10

Now that is high praise.

0:19:100:19:13

But split opinions continue into the living area.

0:19:130:19:16

Oh, this is a lovely breakout area.

0:19:160:19:19

-It's huge.

-Yes. It's a beautiful area for relaxing.

0:19:190:19:23

Throw some bean bags, throw some

0:19:230:19:25

toys around and then it'll be our house.

0:19:250:19:27

Well, Chris is nodding, but I'm not

0:19:270:19:30

sure he's a bean bag sort of guy.

0:19:300:19:33

Will the main bedroom bridge the divide?

0:19:330:19:35

-Oh, look.

-Wow.

-Wow.

0:19:350:19:38

-A walk-in wardrobe.

-It had to be the walk-in wardrobe.

0:19:380:19:42

Looking positive, and through the next door...

0:19:420:19:45

-Yay!

-Oh, wow, the en suite.

0:19:450:19:46

-Do you like your clean, white lines, then?

-Oh, yeah.

0:19:460:19:51

Yeah. This is ticking all the boxes.

0:19:510:19:53

This is exactly what I've been looking for.

0:19:530:19:55

This is the house I would move halfway across the world for.

0:19:550:19:58

Chris is captivated. Rossindra on the other hand...

0:19:580:20:02

It looks like a hotel room suite.

0:20:020:20:04

I just need to bring my stuff in and mess it up a little,

0:20:040:20:06

then it'll look like home.

0:20:060:20:08

However, is she sensing that Chris might be coming round to the idea

0:20:080:20:12

of a New Zealand home?

0:20:120:20:14

For me this is the best of the properties we've seen so far.

0:20:140:20:16

Look, we'll do a deal, all right?

0:20:160:20:18

If you bring me and the kids down, I'll keep the house neat and tidy.

0:20:180:20:22

-Okey-doke.

-Are you up for that?

-It's a deal.

0:20:240:20:27

Well, that's a step forward, but even outside this house,

0:20:270:20:31

Rossindra just isn't seeing what Chris is seeing.

0:20:310:20:34

-Do you like it?

-Yeah, I do.

0:20:340:20:36

-It's beautiful. It's just...I don't see my vegetable plots...

-No.

0:20:360:20:42

..having any space in this very well-manicured garden.

0:20:420:20:46

So I don't see that.

0:20:460:20:48

Is his dream house affordable on their £320,000 budget?

0:20:480:20:52

-All right, crunch time.

-OK. It is crunch time.

0:20:520:20:55

Yeah, I think this is going to be at the top of the range.

0:20:550:20:57

£400,000, what do you say, maybe a bit more?

0:20:570:21:00

No, I think that's too much. 370...

0:21:000:21:02

£370,000?

0:21:020:21:05

..seven.

0:21:050:21:06

-OK.

-I'm ready.

0:21:060:21:08

Here's the moment of truth.

0:21:080:21:10

It's...

0:21:100:21:11

-Oh!

-£395,000.

0:21:110:21:15

Well, nearly £400,000.

0:21:150:21:16

It is not insurmountable if we both get good jobs and we're working.

0:21:160:21:22

So all you need to do is make the first step, come to New Zealand.

0:21:220:21:25

The house-hunting may have seen Chris begin to waver

0:21:270:21:29

about living down under after a day

0:21:290:21:32

viewing three quite different properties.

0:21:320:21:34

House number one had a lived-in charm,

0:21:360:21:38

but needed a lot of work and didn't set the hearts racing.

0:21:380:21:43

But at £305,000, it was well within budget.

0:21:430:21:46

Property two was Rossindra's perfect home.

0:21:490:21:51

It had space, colour and a very pretty garden

0:21:510:21:55

with a price tag that was just over budget,

0:21:550:21:58

but very manageable.

0:21:580:22:00

House number three ticked all of Chris' boxes with its sleek,

0:22:010:22:05

modern feel, but for Rossindra it just wasn't homely enough.

0:22:050:22:09

At £395,000, it looks like they wouldn't be moving in any time soon.

0:22:090:22:15

So when it comes to Kiwi homes,

0:22:150:22:18

will Chris and Rossindra vote for the UK or down under?

0:22:180:22:21

After a day's house-hunting in Wellington, New Zealand,

0:22:230:22:26

it's time to vote on the properties we've seen today.

0:22:260:22:28

-New Zealand!

-New Zealand! Whoohoo! Well done, Chris.

0:22:380:22:43

Correct answer - New Zealand.

0:22:430:22:45

I'm pleased with you. Ten points for Chris.

0:22:450:22:48

A vote for New Zealand homes is a huge step in the right direction

0:22:510:22:55

for Rossindra's dream, but she knows unless Chris

0:22:550:22:58

can be convinced of good job prospects down under,

0:22:580:23:00

they won't be going anywhere.

0:23:000:23:03

Back in the UK, he works as an information manager

0:23:040:23:08

and data analyst in the local council

0:23:080:23:10

or, as it's called in the business, GIS.

0:23:100:23:14

GIS stands for geographic information systems.

0:23:140:23:18

We publish maps on to our website using our data and map-based data.

0:23:180:23:24

Until recently, Rossindra also worked

0:23:240:23:26

for the council on environmental policy.

0:23:260:23:29

It came to a time when they had to make certain cuts and my department

0:23:290:23:33

had to do some cuts and my role was no longer needed

0:23:330:23:36

as a full-time role, so they let me go.

0:23:360:23:40

Relocating to New Zealand would be an opportunity for them both

0:23:400:23:43

to move to the private sector.

0:23:430:23:46

I'd love to work with perhaps a wider zone of interest

0:23:460:23:50

than the local authority has now.

0:23:500:23:53

The private sector affords those opportunities for you

0:23:530:23:55

to get involved in large difference-making projects.

0:23:550:23:59

Currently his type of job should be the ticket for us to get in,

0:23:590:24:03

but with Chris being a bit apprehensive,

0:24:030:24:06

we also just need to find him a job that allows us to apply for a visa,

0:24:060:24:10

he needs to find a job that he's comfortable in.

0:24:100:24:13

And how much does Chris need to earn?

0:24:130:24:15

Realistically, I would be looking

0:24:150:24:19

for a salary around £35,000 to £40,000 as a starting point.

0:24:190:24:23

Without a shadow of a doubt,

0:24:230:24:25

the work prospects in New Zealand are top of his priorities.

0:24:250:24:29

If there were no opportunities for me in New Zealand,

0:24:290:24:31

I'd be very reluctant to make the move.

0:24:310:24:34

Rossindra, on the other hand, is willing to compromise.

0:24:340:24:37

I will work in a supermarket or I will be a binman

0:24:370:24:41

if it means Chris getting his visa, us starting new down under.

0:24:410:24:46

Today, we'll give the couple the opportunity

0:24:470:24:50

to explore their chances of finding work down under.

0:24:500:24:54

And for both, it's a tale of two expats.

0:24:540:24:57

Rossindra is hooking up with Steve, originally from Maidstone in Kent.

0:24:570:25:02

He's a recruiter at a large engineering and consultancy firm.

0:25:020:25:06

-Do you want to come through?

-Yeah, sure.

0:25:060:25:08

While Chris is meeting Scott, originally from Scotland,

0:25:080:25:11

at Wellington-based technology firm Eagle Technology.

0:25:110:25:15

And straight away, he zones in on the killer question.

0:25:150:25:18

Do you think, with my skill set, I'd be able to get a job here?

0:25:180:25:21

I mean, GIS is a shortage area for us just now in New Zealand.

0:25:210:25:25

You could work almost anywhere in the country, I would say.

0:25:250:25:27

-Yeah.

-Especially through local government.

0:25:270:25:29

Every council in the country uses GIS.

0:25:290:25:31

I think we're lucky here that in New Zealand

0:25:310:25:33

a lot of the public sector's doing some really creative and

0:25:330:25:35

innovative things, so you wouldn't necessarily need to look

0:25:350:25:38

-at the private sector.

-That's very different to the UK.

0:25:380:25:40

So, good news right away.

0:25:400:25:42

Across town with Rossindra, it's an equally good start.

0:25:420:25:45

I'm looking for a role where it ties in with conservation,

0:25:450:25:49

ecology, urban sustainability.

0:25:490:25:52

I'm looking at roles in that line.

0:25:520:25:53

We're in a good area at the moment,

0:25:530:25:56

because the government is spending a lot of money on things like

0:25:560:25:58

infrastructure and housing,

0:25:580:26:00

so we're getting more than our fair share of work.

0:26:000:26:03

Would I come in and be able to get a job?

0:26:030:26:05

Your background in planning,

0:26:050:26:07

sustainability and environmental science would be valuable to other

0:26:070:26:11

organisations, and the fact that you've done project management as

0:26:110:26:14

well, that's a really good tick in your box, as well.

0:26:140:26:17

-That's good.

-Fantastic.

0:26:170:26:19

Back with Chris and Scott, they're talking visas.

0:26:200:26:24

Working in the UK, not a lot of organisations hire from overseas.

0:26:240:26:28

Will government organisations in New Zealand hire from overseas?

0:26:280:26:33

I know that from Eagle's perspective, where I work here,

0:26:330:26:35

we've got a very mixed set of people who work here

0:26:350:26:39

from all around the world.

0:26:390:26:40

And it's a question also on Rossindra's mind.

0:26:400:26:43

Myself and some of the team went to the UK in February

0:26:430:26:46

and ran a bit of a workshop and actually employed...

0:26:460:26:50

I think we've employed six people now directly from the UK.

0:26:500:26:53

-Oh, Steve, you missed me!

-Yeah, yeah, absolutely, yeah.

0:26:530:26:55

Where was I in February?

0:26:550:26:58

Chris, meanwhile, has moved on to talk about the all-important issues

0:26:580:27:02

of hours and pay.

0:27:020:27:04

So, I've looked at your CV and seen the experience you have there,

0:27:040:27:07

and for a GIS manager role in New Zealand,

0:27:070:27:10

I would think somewhere in the range of 48,000 to 64,000 in pounds

0:27:100:27:15

as a salary would be the sort of range I would be thinking.

0:27:150:27:18

That sounds very encouraging.

0:27:180:27:20

Now, that's an offer he can't refuse.

0:27:200:27:23

So, what about Rossindra?

0:27:230:27:25

You'd probably be looking at around about £43,000 to £53,000.

0:27:250:27:30

Someone with your background,

0:27:300:27:31

the fact that you've got a master's degree, as well

0:27:310:27:34

and your level of experience.

0:27:340:27:35

Much more than what I was earning, so...

0:27:350:27:37

-Good, that's excellent.

-It's been a quickfire day,

0:27:370:27:40

with really encouraging news

0:27:400:27:42

on the work front for both Chris and Rossindra.

0:27:420:27:45

So the mood is upbeat as they meet to compare notes.

0:27:450:27:48

-Hello.

-Hello.

-You all right?

0:27:480:27:51

-Yeah, had a good day.

-That's good.

0:27:510:27:52

I'm very positive. Had a good interview.

0:27:520:27:55

Possibly some leads on a job.

0:27:550:27:57

So, very positive so far.

0:27:570:27:59

-Aw, I'm really pleased.

-I could be starting around 45,000 UK pounds,

0:27:590:28:04

working up to about 65,000.

0:28:040:28:07

It's more than what I'm earning now and, I mean,

0:28:070:28:09

it has the potential for the future, which is what I'm looking for.

0:28:090:28:12

-That's good to hear.

-And how was your day?

0:28:120:28:14

-How were your interviews?

-I was quite pleasantly surprised.

0:28:140:28:16

He liked my CV and he did say there are opportunities.

0:28:160:28:20

-And what about the salary?

-The salary's good.

0:28:200:28:23

He said 42 and I almost fell off my chair.

0:28:230:28:25

-Pounds?

-£42,000? Yes.

-That's pretty good.

0:28:250:28:29

So, fingers crossed we can both secure the right opportunities.

0:28:290:28:32

I'm quite optimistic.

0:28:320:28:33

Yeah, that's good. It's good.

0:28:330:28:35

So, let's guess how this vote goes.

0:28:350:28:38

-New Zealand.

-New Zealand.

0:28:450:28:47

-I'm really pleased.

-Your dream is still alive.

0:28:480:28:51

-Aw.

-SHE LAUGHS

0:28:510:28:55

-OK. Let's go and find the kids.

-Let's go.

0:28:550:28:58

With prospects blossoming and love blooming, things are looking up.

0:28:580:29:03

Halfway through their trial week, and it couldn't be going better

0:29:070:29:11

for Ros' mission to convince her cautious husband Chris

0:29:110:29:14

that their future lies in New Zealand.

0:29:140:29:17

But there's still that all-important financial reality check

0:29:170:29:21

and messages from home to come.

0:29:210:29:23

And that can change everything.

0:29:230:29:26

First, though, it's time for them to sample the sort of lifestyle

0:29:260:29:30

the family might be able to enjoy down under.

0:29:300:29:33

The Atkins family head off to spend the day at a local nature reserve.

0:29:350:29:38

The weather has taken a turn for the worse,

0:29:400:29:43

so it's time to get the wellies on down in Wellington.

0:29:430:29:46

The family are being given a guided tour

0:29:470:29:50

and getting up close to some Kiwi wildlife.

0:29:500:29:53

Sarah and Lucy get the chance to feed some very hungry native kaka.

0:29:550:30:00

Yes, hang there, Lucy.

0:30:000:30:01

Or maybe not so hungry.

0:30:010:30:04

I think he wants the stick.

0:30:040:30:06

In fact, these guys seem more interested in Mum's head.

0:30:060:30:09

-Mummy!

-He better not poo-poo on me!

-KIDS SHRIEK AND GIGGLE

0:30:090:30:14

Well, if they don't want to be fed,

0:30:140:30:16

there are some less exotic species

0:30:160:30:18

that will always want a bite to eat.

0:30:180:30:20

Ducks.

0:30:210:30:22

And the creature they meet before a spot of lunch

0:30:240:30:26

looks like it could have them for lunch.

0:30:260:30:29

But it's friendly, really.

0:30:300:30:32

And as they eat New Zealand style,

0:30:330:30:35

Chris is getting into the swing of things.

0:30:350:30:39

I guess that's how they roll out here in New Zealand.

0:30:390:30:42

-Cook outside.

-A fun family day out for the Atkins is rounded off

0:30:420:30:46

with a bit of a surprise.

0:30:460:30:48

-Oh, my God!

-Guys!

0:30:490:30:51

What is that? We are here, we're out.

0:30:510:30:54

A call from home, from Rossindra's sister.

0:30:540:30:56

Romina, it's been really good.

0:30:560:30:59

The interviews have been good, the houses have been good.

0:30:590:31:01

Hi, Romina. We are at this great bird sanctuary today,

0:31:010:31:05

and a bird just landed on Ros' head.

0:31:050:31:07

-So, that really cheered us all up.

-Why, though?

-I don't know why.

0:31:070:31:10

Of all the people to land on, he lands on me, Romina.

0:31:100:31:12

-That's good luck!

-Yeah, I hope.

0:31:120:31:14

-It is good luck.

-Romina, say hi to Lucy.

0:31:140:31:17

-Hello, Romina.

-Are you enjoying yourself?

-Yeah.

0:31:170:31:19

-Hi, hi!

-Hiya! Oh, I can hear the birds.

0:31:200:31:24

It's a duck, silly. ROMINA LAUGHS

0:31:250:31:28

OK, Romina, thanks for calling!

0:31:280:31:29

Thanks a lot, and we'll see you soon!

0:31:290:31:32

-Say bye!

-Bye!

-Bye-bye!

0:31:320:31:36

A friendly voice and increasingly receptive Chris -

0:31:360:31:39

surely Rossindra must be delighted.

0:31:390:31:42

I don't know, I'm a bit scared.

0:31:420:31:44

I've got a bit of cold feet and, yeah,

0:31:440:31:48

I'll be honest - I'm just a little bit afraid now.

0:31:480:31:51

That's a bolt from the blue.

0:31:510:31:53

Clearly more thinking to be done.

0:31:530:31:56

But, based on today,

0:31:560:31:57

will the family vote for lifestyle in the UK or New Zealand?

0:31:570:32:02

After a good day in New Zealand our vote goes to...

0:32:020:32:06

-New Zealand!

-New Zealand!

0:32:140:32:16

Mm, Sarah and Lucy not on board

0:32:170:32:19

and whilst Rossindra may be harbouring some doubts,

0:32:190:32:22

she certainly knows the secret to securing the children's vote.

0:32:220:32:26

Maybe we just need to convince the kids.

0:32:260:32:28

-Buy them an ice cream or something.

-Yeah, I think that's a good idea.

0:32:280:32:31

Come on, then, Lucy, Sarah - do you want an ice cream?

0:32:310:32:33

-Yes!

-OK, they're right up here.

0:32:330:32:35

It seems though Chris is swaying towards a move, but for Rossindra,

0:32:410:32:46

reality seems to be dawning

0:32:460:32:48

so the tables have turned.

0:32:480:32:51

In any case, relocating to New Zealand could be a pipe dream

0:32:510:32:55

if the figures don't stack up.

0:32:550:32:57

Getting the right price for their UK home will be key.

0:32:570:33:01

The couple think it's worth £310,000,

0:33:010:33:04

but will two local estate agents agree?

0:33:040:33:07

While the children are looked after by a child minder,

0:33:080:33:11

Chris and Rossindra prepare to find out.

0:33:110:33:13

It's our little house.

0:33:200:33:22

OK, so good-sized living and dining-room space,

0:33:220:33:26

I would definitely advise by knocking down the partition,

0:33:260:33:30

opening up the space and enjoying the dual aspect of the property.

0:33:300:33:34

-Thank you. I'm happy.

-That's a good idea.

0:33:340:33:37

OK, reasonable size kitchen.

0:33:370:33:40

Nice contemporary units, even space for a table and chairs.

0:33:400:33:44

-So a nice space.

-That looks really nice.

0:33:440:33:47

-I could live in that.

-OK, so good-sized double bedroom.

0:33:470:33:51

Needs a little bit of cosmetic attention,

0:33:510:33:53

maybe sort of fill in the sort of few hairline fractures we have,

0:33:530:33:58

otherwise good-sized double.

0:33:580:34:00

So, the upstairs is a very typical layout for houses of this period

0:34:000:34:05

and we come into the second bedroom here and there is a really unusual

0:34:050:34:08

feature in this cupboard which is built over the stairwell.

0:34:080:34:11

I've seen dozens of these houses

0:34:110:34:13

before and I've never seen that done which is a really nice idea.

0:34:130:34:16

Makes a really good space, and you've still got room

0:34:160:34:18

for a double bed so it's a really good-sized second bedroom.

0:34:180:34:21

So, true market evaluation for the property would be in the region of

0:34:210:34:25

£315,000.

0:34:250:34:27

if the vendors were looking for a quick sale, I would advise

0:34:270:34:30

putting the property on the market

0:34:300:34:32

for £300,000, offers in excess of.

0:34:320:34:34

In today's market, I would value this house between

0:34:340:34:37

£310,000 and £320,000.

0:34:370:34:40

For a quick sale, I would value it at £300,000.

0:34:400:34:44

So as a rental valuation, I would value the property in the region of

0:34:440:34:48

£1,200 per calendar month.

0:34:480:34:50

If the owners wanted to rent,

0:34:500:34:51

I would suggest a value of between £1,150

0:34:510:34:54

and £1,200 per calendar month.

0:34:540:34:56

-I'm really pleased.

-Yeah, I mean it's around about

0:34:560:34:59

what we were expecting, so...but it's really good.

0:34:590:35:02

So, you're not upset or anything to think that somebody could move into

0:35:020:35:05

the house or buy the property off us? It's been your family home.

0:35:050:35:08

The important thing is the family

0:35:080:35:11

-itself and you make your home wherever you are.

-Yeah.

0:35:110:35:14

Come on, then, new start, new start.

0:35:140:35:17

That's the spirit, Rossindra.

0:35:170:35:19

Time to examine the cost of living.

0:35:190:35:21

First, the weekly food shop.

0:35:210:35:23

Chicken - more expensive. We use a lot of chicken, don't we?

0:35:240:35:27

But bananas...bananas are a lot more expensive.

0:35:270:35:30

The grocery bill looks like it'll be

0:35:300:35:33

more expensive in New Zealand, but by how much?

0:35:330:35:37

So, £56 worse off a month in New Zealand.

0:35:370:35:42

£56 a month won't break the bank, but Chris and Rossindra have also to

0:35:440:35:48

tackle the bigger outgoings.

0:35:480:35:50

And there's nothing off the Richter scale

0:35:500:35:53

until Rossindra reacts to one figure.

0:35:530:35:55

Home insurance! It's making me think that you have to pay more

0:35:550:35:59

in New Zealand and then my mind wanders and I think possibly

0:35:590:36:04

it could be because of the earthquakes

0:36:040:36:06

that are happening over here?

0:36:060:36:08

And then I think, "Oh, gee, earthquake!

0:36:080:36:12

"Do I want to move down under?"

0:36:120:36:14

Chris has stunned written all over his face -

0:36:140:36:17

it's yet another sign of doubt from Rossindra.

0:36:170:36:20

Will the comparison of outgoings make things better or worse?

0:36:210:36:25

-£300.

-£300 per month.

0:36:250:36:29

-Better off?

-Better off in New Zealand!

0:36:290:36:33

That's pretty impressive, isn't it?

0:36:330:36:35

Yeah, that's good, happy news, yay, we should celebrate.

0:36:350:36:37

On firmer ground, they look at income.

0:36:370:36:40

If Rossindra did get a job down under

0:36:400:36:42

and Chris' income increased in line with the advice they were given...

0:36:420:36:47

This is an extra of £4,252 a month.

0:36:470:36:52

Per month.

0:36:520:36:54

That's pretty good, isn't it?

0:36:540:36:56

It's a significant amount of money,

0:36:560:36:58

but Rossindra's erring on the cautious side.

0:36:580:37:01

But at the back of my mind I keep thinking, you know,

0:37:010:37:05

people always say if it looks too good to be true,

0:37:050:37:08

then perhaps...perhaps it's not true.

0:37:080:37:13

But for Chris, the numbers don't lie.

0:37:130:37:16

And when all the figures are totalled,

0:37:160:37:18

they'd be better off in New Zealand by over £4,000 a month.

0:37:180:37:23

That's a massive £54,624 a year.

0:37:230:37:28

It's the lifestyle and the environment that you wanted.

0:37:280:37:30

-Yes.

-And I think we've proved that, through the numbers,

0:37:300:37:34

that that is actually attainable - it looks pretty positive.

0:37:340:37:37

Yes!

0:37:370:37:39

It's time to vote.

0:37:390:37:40

After going through our finances, our vote goes to...

0:37:420:37:46

-BOTH:

-New Zealand!

0:37:550:37:57

Knowing they'd thrive financially down under is motivating Chris,

0:38:030:38:07

but the emotional cost has to be considered, too.

0:38:070:38:11

Lucy and Sarah are keen to join in as the families sit down to watch

0:38:110:38:14

messages from loved ones back home.

0:38:140:38:16

Hi, Rossi! Hi, Chris!

0:38:180:38:20

Hello, guys, hi!

0:38:200:38:22

Hello, Chris and Rossi.

0:38:220:38:24

Chris and Rossi are very good together.

0:38:250:38:27

I think Chris is quite funny,

0:38:280:38:30

he has a bit of a cold sense of humour

0:38:300:38:32

which works well, because Rossi has the extra-focused sense of humour.

0:38:320:38:37

Chris is very quiet.

0:38:370:38:39

He is not adventurous in trying foreign food.

0:38:390:38:44

She's always been saying how nice and beautiful New Zealand is

0:38:440:38:47

and she'd like to go and see and live there.

0:38:470:38:50

She said if she ever gets the opportunity to go to any country

0:38:500:38:54

she will choose New Zealand.

0:38:540:38:57

I think Chris might be a little bit more unsure about going,

0:38:570:39:01

cos obviously it's Rossi that is the one that wants to go.

0:39:010:39:04

Oh, I'll definitely miss the daily conversations that we have,

0:39:040:39:07

daily chats, cos we talk quite a lot.

0:39:070:39:10

I'd definitely miss seeing the girls.

0:39:100:39:12

I really want them to go and do well,

0:39:120:39:16

but on the other hand I'm really going to miss them.

0:39:160:39:20

Rossi's the only one here, so I get to go and see her,

0:39:200:39:22

but if she's gone then for me, as well, it's going to be all alone

0:39:220:39:25

and it's really a long way to go.

0:39:250:39:27

But I will miss her a lot and the children if she goes,

0:39:300:39:34

but it's one of them things.

0:39:340:39:36

I think you should just go for it, it's a great opportunity

0:39:360:39:39

for Rossi and Chris before the children get too old

0:39:390:39:42

and get settled where they are.

0:39:420:39:43

So if Rossi feels that New Zealand is going to have a better future

0:39:430:39:47

for her and her family and the children, I feel Chris will agree.

0:39:470:39:51

I'll definitely support you 100%, whatever decision you make.

0:39:510:39:55

Good luck!

0:39:550:39:57

Ohh. So, what do you think?

0:39:580:40:01

So it is very difficult, as she said, it's a very long way away.

0:40:010:40:04

That's one of the factors, isn't it?

0:40:040:40:06

You have to weigh up moving all the way out here.

0:40:060:40:09

Will you be sad to leave the UK?

0:40:090:40:11

Yes, I will be, but the main point here is they've all

0:40:110:40:16

given us their blessings and at this point in our life I think,

0:40:160:40:20

yeah, we should take our chances and see what life has to offer for us.

0:40:200:40:25

Hearing from family and friends seems to have refocused Rossindra

0:40:250:40:29

in her long-held ambition to move down under.

0:40:290:40:32

Undoubtedly, it's a difficult decision.

0:40:320:40:35

At the start of the week, free spirit Rossindra made it her

0:40:360:40:39

mission to convince her more cautious

0:40:390:40:42

and, yes, cynical husband Chris

0:40:420:40:44

that they should risk it all on a move down under.

0:40:440:40:48

He, however, wanted to find out

0:40:480:40:50

whether the gamble was just too big to make.

0:40:500:40:53

Now, as they approach the final vote,

0:40:530:40:56

has she managed to win him round to her way of thinking?

0:40:560:41:00

What would you do if it was you?

0:41:000:41:02

After years of coaxing husband Chris to relocate down under,

0:41:040:41:08

his attitude isn't what she anticipated.

0:41:080:41:11

I'm shocked by the fact that Chris is all go, go, go on Chris' side.

0:41:110:41:17

If anything, it's Rossindra who appears reluctant to take the leap.

0:41:170:41:22

You stood at the edge of the cliff

0:41:220:41:24

and you've waited like, "Come on, guys! Come on! Come on!"

0:41:240:41:27

You look at yourself and you're like, "Am I ready?"

0:41:290:41:33

I spent all this time getting them here,

0:41:330:41:35

-"Am I ready, have I got my parachute on?"

-SHE LAUGHS

0:41:350:41:39

As ever, it's been the messages from home that have made a huge impact on

0:41:390:41:43

-the couple.

-The friends and family messages do bring you back to

0:41:430:41:47

reality and I guess show you what you're missing.

0:41:470:41:51

It's kind of a check and to see - "Do you want to do this thing?"

0:41:510:41:54

It's a massive step moving to the other side of the world.

0:41:540:41:56

So maybe a little bit of doubt in my mind.

0:41:560:42:00

So as the final vote approaches,

0:42:000:42:02

how are this very loving - but very different - couple feeling?

0:42:020:42:07

This is crunch time, the kids are young

0:42:070:42:09

and we're not getting any younger.

0:42:090:42:11

It's a little bit of soul-searching

0:42:110:42:13

and some tough decision-making to be done.

0:42:130:42:15

Will the family decide their destiny lies at home or away?

0:42:150:42:20

BOTH: New Zealand!

0:42:340:42:36

UK!

0:42:360:42:38

Wow, Chris, you voted New Zealand, well done! I am pleased.

0:42:380:42:41

Yeah, you've won me around,

0:42:410:42:43

I'm quite happy with what our lifestyle could be out here,

0:42:430:42:46

-I'm happy to give it a go.

-Yay! Come on, then.

0:42:460:42:50

Well, she did it!

0:42:520:42:54

And, finally, cautious Chris became Chris the convert.

0:42:540:42:58

All they have to do now is work on little Sarah.

0:42:580:43:02

Whatever move they make next,

0:43:020:43:04

we'll be following their progress with interest.

0:43:040:43:07

And, of course, wishing them the best of luck.

0:43:070:43:10

Group hug, group hug, group hug! Group hug, group hug!

0:43:100:43:13

Roz and Chris Atkins are happily married, despite having very different personalities. Roz wants to throw caution to the wind and follow her wildest dreams while Chris believes slow and steady wins the race. Ever since the couple got together six years ago, talk of New Zealand has been a constant and sometimes sensitive subject. It is a passion that all started when Rossindra, from an Indian community in the Malay Peninsula, visited New Zealand 17 years ago. She promptly fell in love with the weather, people and its laid-back lifestyle. But Chris believes his wife is chasing something that probably isn't there. Her memories are being filtered through the rose-tinted spectacles he believes she is wearing. With Chris settled in a good job, and their two young daughters Lucy and Sarah loving life in Bracknell in south east England, he thinks they should be going nowhere. But for Rossindra, life is universally grey in England. She wants more colour in her life and is prepared to move to get it. Having recently been made redundant from her job, she feels the time to move is right now. Mum and dad may be on different pages, but as the trial week approaches, Chris is prepared to give it a go. What if the tables turn when they get out there? Might Rossindra get the wobbles about moving, with cautious Chris ending up loving it?