Santa Clara Family Wanted Down Under


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Santa Clara Family

Mum Perse and partner Debbie are disillusioned with life in the UK and feel it's time to leave. But first they have to get their children on board.


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Persephone and Debbie are disillusioned with life in the UK...

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There was no work-life balance.

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She was working and I was life.

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..and they think New Zealand could be the answer.

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With her work situation, with us as a family unit,

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it is feeling more and more right.

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A trial week sees the family get a vision of how they might live.

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But will it be enough to get their children onboard?

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It'll kind of be really, like,

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strange, not seeing Dad very much at all.

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We don't really know everything about it,

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so I think it's going to be a tough decision.

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And if the children aren't convinced...

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It would be a, you know, a no-brainer.

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There would be no decision to make.

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We'd just be coming home, and that would be the end of that.

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FUNKY MUSIC PLAYS

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There's something for everyone in this diverse and beautiful country -

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from beaches, amazing sea life and

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water sports, to magnificent mountains,

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hot springs and superb skiing.

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Little wonder that New Zealand is top of many lists as a destination

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for people searching for a better life.

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The Santa Clara-De Magdalene family

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is disillusioned with all the

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problems they see in modern British society,

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and feel it could be time to get out while they're ahead.

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Across a trial week in New Zealand,

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they'll get to see where they might live, what they can afford,

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and the jobs they could get if they emigrated.

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At the end, they'll come to a final decision and vote.

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After a long journey lasting nearly 30 hours,

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the Santa Clara-De Magdalene clan have finally landed in Hamilton.

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And straight away, daughter Tilly is telling it like it is.

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I'm so bored! So bored!

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Those last few hours have been a big struggle,

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and I'm looking forward to my bed.

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It's just amazing to think we're actually here.

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Something that we wanted for such a long time, to come and visit and see

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whether our fantasy of New Zealand is a reality.

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But to sort out fantasy from reality,

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they need to get something straight.

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-In particular...

-Housing, finances and work.

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So those are kind of the really major things

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that need to be in place.

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That said, Perse is cheerfully optimistic.

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-I want to be here by Christmas.

-LAUGHTER

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Now that is optimistic!

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In fact, Tilly thinks jet lag must be setting in.

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We haven't even been outside the airport,

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-and you're like, "Oh, my God, I love it so much! Oh, my God!"

-LAUGHTER

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Debbie thinks Tilly could do with a little bit more travel.

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Shall we put them on the next flight back?

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-Yeah, and send them home.

-And we'll spend the week here.

-LAUGHTER

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Oh, no, don't leave so soon.

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They're excited to be here, really.

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We're just raring to get out there, really.

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Get our stuff, get into the hire car, get to our house,

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and start our adventure.

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Well, then, let the adventure commence.

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Meet the Santa Clara-De Magdalene family.

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They are Persephone De Magdalene,

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Debbie Santa Clara,

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Persephone's children Tilly, 13, and brother Raphael, aged 12.

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Since meeting, the couple have always shared a dream of emigrating.

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It's always been on my, sort of, radar to emigrate.

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Their main motivation is a better work-life balance.

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Debbie is a doctor and works up to 80 hours a week,

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so it fell on Perse, an academic, to keep home life going.

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It meant that there was no work-life balance.

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She was working and I was life.

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That was how, that was the balance.

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There's been times when the children have been surprised to see me at

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home, and that's quite heart-wrenching.

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With Perse's academic career on hold,

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Debbie went part-time, which brought a different set of problems.

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It means it's going to take longer to train to get to consultant level.

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Which would have its benefit in that I would see the children

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more often, but it does have a financial strain.

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Perse also feels the financial pressure.

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We need a proper family house and the cost of that, and then

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the repayments of the mortgage each month, and how much we'd have to

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work and how much we'd have to earn and, you know,

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just the whole cycle was just starting to feel really oppressive.

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But their desire to move is more than just about money.

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New Zealand is still a very diverse culture.

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You know, they're very,

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very supportive of gay relationships and gay families.

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It's very important for us to be accepted as a gay couple,

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because we are.

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So a move to New Zealand seems very attractive.

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With her work situation, with us as a family unit,

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it is feeling more and more right.

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I'm now at the stage in my training which also makes it easier to move

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across, because it's a transferable stage within training,

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which means I won't have to start again.

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The timing is also perfect for the children's schooling, and their

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father has given his blessing to any move.

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They do have a pretty strong relationship between them.

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It will kind of be really, like strange, to just, like,

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start, like, not seeing Dad very much at all.

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He wants us to have the best in life,

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and if moving to New Zealand is the

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best idea, then I think that he would like support us to do that.

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But also he would miss us.

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It really just seems to be that everything is conspiring to tell us

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that now, now is the time.

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Debbie, meanwhile, also has people she'll miss terribly.

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I'll miss my mum.

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LAUGHTER

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As they wrestle with the decision, they have just one rule -

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it's all in or not at all.

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If either one of the children,

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you know, was distraught at the end of the week and, you know,

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never wanted to see New Zealand again,

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it would be a, you know, a no-brainer.

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There would be no decision to make,

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we'd just be coming home and that would be the end of that.

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The family's base for the week is in Hamilton,

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where it's time to unload the car and settle in.

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And bagsie a room, of course.

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Ha, Tilly's gone straight for the bedrooms.

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Oh, look at the garden!

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A lot more room than we've got at home, eh?

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Yep, they seem happy with their temporary home away from home.

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And after all that travelling, time for a snack,

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courtesy of the native feijoa fruit.

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-That is horrible.

-LAUGHTER

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I don't think it'd be quite my cup of tea.

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-Our first taste of...

-Our first taste of feijoa is pretty terrible.

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And you're going for more?

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Yeah, I am, because I'm not a quitter.

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Raphie and Tilly, meanwhile, are settling in, too.

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I like it.

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I think it's really cool,

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because although it is, like, getting into the winter,

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it's still really warm.

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All in all, everyone is ready for an action-packed week.

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Just sitting here in this garden with space has just brought home

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how much I think I've missed having space around me.

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If it turns out that, you know,

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it's affordable and it would offer us the kind of lifestyle that we are

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after, it'll be my dream come true, really.

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I love it.

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Back in the UK, the Santa Clara-De Magdalenes live in Norwich

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in a two-bedroom semi which, because of house prices, they are currently renting.

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It's something they might do for a while,

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if they move to New Zealand.

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Just so that we could get a feel for the place,

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and make sure that we're making the right choice in terms of location,

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but ultimately it would be our preference to be able to buy a

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house, which is really beyond us at the moment in the UK.

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In terms of what they want from a house...

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-Garden.

-Yes, definitely.

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If I could have somewhere that would be a workshop that could be warm

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-when it's winter, I would love that.

-LAUGHTER

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Perse is being more practical.

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-We need lots, lots of storage space.

-Storage. We need storage for sure.

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-We've got a lot of stuff.

-LAUGHTER

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-And bedrooms?

-One for each of the kids, and one for us at least,

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-and maybe a spare room.

-Yeah.

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For both of them, the neighbourhood is also crucially important.

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-It would be an accepting community.

-Yeah, definitely.

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Because we don't want to be living somewhere where

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rocks are thrown at our windows every day.

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-No, or even occasionally.

-Or even occasionally.

-LAUGHTER

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Not high days or holidays either.

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All in all, they're looking for a place to call home.

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A house that functions really well for our family,

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and kids who are on the cusp of becoming

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much more independent teenagers.

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But what if they don't find what they're looking for during their

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-trial week?

-I don't think that it would probably be a deal-breaker to

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the extent that we wouldn't move if we didn't find our absolute perfect,

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ideal rental home.

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But I think that there would be compromises that would be a

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compromise too far.

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Perse and Debbie's rental budget is £1,500 per month.

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

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we'll show them three properties -

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

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

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First up, they're in the Matangi area of South Hamilton.

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Courtesy of a new highway,

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this area offers a genuinely rural New Zealand location,

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but with easy access to schools, shops and amenities.

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They also won't have many parking problems, by the looks of it.

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How much garden space is this?

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-I know, it's huge.

-Right away, Perse has spotted a feature to her liking.

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-I like the balcony.

-Yes.

-I think that's very presidential.

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Inside, everyone makes themselves nice and comfy.

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But what will they make of the open-plan layout?

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-This is well beyond expectations.

-LAUGHTER

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-This is...

-This is really lovely.

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Meanwhile, Raphie's in the driving seat.

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And the kitchen has Tilly planning a party.

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This would be so good for baking in.

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You could just, you could spread out all of your ingredients.

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-It would be so cool.

-And then you could wash them all up.

-LAUGHTER

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And then they spot the real secret ingredient to this house.

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-Look at that, guys.

-Look at that.

-Hot tub.

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-Raph, can you see it?

-Oh!

-It's bubbling away.

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And while the hot tub bubbles, an idea brews in the room next door.

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I can't believe how big this house is.

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-It's massive.

-So, two ground-floor bedrooms.

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-Yes.

-Which means that there's probably at least three more upstairs.

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-Yes.

-Which means lots more babies!

-LAUGHTER

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Now that is planning ahead!

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And whilst Debbie and Perse continue to explore, a childminder

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puts Tilly and Raphie through their paces in the downstairs gym.

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Still downstairs, this bathroom exercises Debbie's sense of scale.

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-Bathroom, and a shower.

-OK.

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OK, this is, what, about the size of...

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-Our house!

-LAUGHTER

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-Next door...

-A dining room.

-And it's completely awesome.

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And posh gaffs always need a utility room, of course.

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Although Debs and Perse are struggling to iron one particular

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-problem out in here.

-But I just did that!

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I think we need to leave this for now, you two.

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Time to check out if upstairs continues to impress.

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And Perse wants to try out that balcony.

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Oh, it's lovely!

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This is beyond dreams.

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-Want to move in?

-Hell, yeah.

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Great early impressions from Perse and Debbie,

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but are the children feeling at home in this house?

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I really like this room.

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-It's lovely.

-Yes. This is so cool!

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Well, Tilly's reserved her room.

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What does Raphie think?

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Giant, and amazing, and big, and beautiful, and fancy.

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And I like it.

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Brief, but to the point.

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Inside this house is floating their boat,

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but what about the outside?

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There's that hot tub to have a closer look at.

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It's like this, this is really not the kind of house that I

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would imagine myself living in.

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This is somebody else's lovely house that I would admire and I would like

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to come and have a party at.

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But actually, that's OK.

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I shan't be disappointed that this is beyond our price range.

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We can aspire to it as something in the future, if that's what we want.

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Well, let's see how far out of their price range it is.

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They have £1,500 per month to spend.

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-What do you think, then?

-I think it's going to be at least double.

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Double?

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I don't know, I think that that's, I think that's

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over what it would probably be.

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-I reckon two. Yeah.

-Want to turn it over?

-You do it.

-Here we go.

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£1,568 per month.

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Well, it's on budget, but Perse is keeping her sensible head on.

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-So, it's affordable to us.

-It's affordable.

-It is.

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-Could very easily be comfortable and happy and...

-Something less grand.

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-Less grand.

-And have a few more grand in our pocket.

-LAUGHTER

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-See what I did there?

-I do indeed.

-LAUGHTER

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They're reluctant to splash the cash this early on.

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So will the next property be a move in the right direction?

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It's on the far north-western border of Hamilton, in Rototuna,

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a relatively new area that has sprung up as the city has expanded

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and more affluent home-buyers have moved in.

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Inside this five-bedroom property is smaller than the first property.

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So is that a good or a bad thing?

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It's gorgeous.

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Well, for me, this is much more an inviting space than the other one.

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I think that it's really nice that

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everything kind of joins in together.

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-And the open-plan?

-Yeah, yeah.

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The open dining area also gets top marks.

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You know, for us all to be able to sit around here and we just serve

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dinner straight from the hob.

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Over here, we're looking out on the garden.

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-It's very nice.

-Although Debbie isn't totally sold.

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It just feels maybe a bit more cramped.

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Just a bit worried about storage, really.

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Luckily, the elusive but ever-helpful Raphie discovers extra

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cupboard space.

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-That helps.

-LAUGHTER

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Sliding on into the living room...

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This is nice. You can close the doors...

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-Yeah, I love it. And lock the children out.

-LAUGHTER

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-..and forget about the rest of the world.

-Yeah, this is lovely.

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-Really, really nice.

-I like this room.

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-This room could possibly sell it for me.

-LAUGHTER

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Oh, back on track. And down the hall a bit,

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the main bedroom continues to win Debbie over.

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-A-ha! Walk-in closets.

-Nice.

-I like it.

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-It's lovely.

-Yes.

-And we could put a clock just there.

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Yes, we could.

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That plan Perse had earlier seems to be coming on nicely.

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Next...

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-Ah, a bathroom right next door.

-Pretty sure this must be the master suite.

-It feels...

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Upstairs, and Tilly is back to check out her potential room.

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-Oh, wow! Look at the view, Deb!

-Amazing.

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-Wow!

-So maybe this one's the master bedroom.

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-Maybe.

-Oh, that might cause a problem,

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because Tilly has a thought.

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-This is the kind of room that I want.

-LAUGHTER

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-Yes.

-Luckily, Perse is pragmatic.

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Yeah, it's awesome, isn't it?

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But I think that the other room is more practical, actually, for us.

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-So maybe you can have this room.

-TILLY GASPS

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-LAUGHTER

-Thank you!

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Sorted. Where's Raphie sleeping?

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-Another room.

-Another room. Office space?

-Yeah, music room?

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Hang on, remember Raphie!

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-Raphie's room?

-Raphie's room.

-Phew!

-Kids' chill-out area?

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And next up, a room they could all share.

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Oh, this is more like it,

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-bathroom-wise.

-Yes, bath, I was wondering where that was.

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And a lovely bath.

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Ah, but you haven't seen the triple garage yet, and come to think of

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it, we haven't seen Raphie either.

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-Carpeted.

-Oh, Raphie!

-There you are.

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Lying down on the job.

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Well, they've woken Raphie,

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but there's confusion about carpet - in a garage?!

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-I guess you don't park your car in the garage.

-Exactly.

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Garages are not for cars.

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But perfect for Debbie's workshop.

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This has probably got more area than our house does back in England.

0:18:020:18:06

Raphie's gone AWOL again, but there's no escaping the price.

0:18:060:18:11

-What do you think?

-Expensive, that's all I know.

-LAUGHTER

0:18:140:18:17

I think, yeah, I think you're probably right.

0:18:170:18:19

I think this is going to be out of our range.

0:18:190:18:21

-1,800? Two grand?

-Maybe. Yeah.

0:18:220:18:26

-Something like that?

-You can turn over, I'm too scared.

-LAUGHTER

0:18:260:18:30

-Ready?

-Mmm.

0:18:300:18:32

Remember, they have a budget of £1,500 a month.

0:18:320:18:35

OK, so £1,730 per calendar month.

0:18:350:18:39

Less than both of us thought.

0:18:390:18:41

-Yeah.

-But still more than what we think we can budget for.

0:18:410:18:45

That price is too much for... for me, for a rental.

0:18:450:18:49

Could this be affordable? That depends on their jobs.

0:18:510:18:55

The final property of the day is in Raglan -

0:18:550:18:57

a small beach-side town, 30 miles west of Hamilton.

0:18:570:19:01

Previously the preserve of surfers and hippies,

0:19:010:19:04

over the last few years it's become an exclusive retreat for Hamilton

0:19:040:19:08

professionals hankering to live by the sea.

0:19:080:19:10

Could this be the dream home the Santa Claras are looking for?

0:19:120:19:16

But as they pull up outside, there's only one thing they want to see.

0:19:160:19:21

Did you see the view? Look.

0:19:210:19:24

Oh, wow!

0:19:240:19:26

Having not seen inside yet, I think

0:19:270:19:29

that the place is absolutely stunning.

0:19:290:19:32

I mean, I can't see that for us as a family it would work as a

0:19:320:19:35

-living-in house.

-Well, don't give up on it as a home just yet -

0:19:350:19:40

have a look around first.

0:19:400:19:42

And in the dining area, it seems Raphie's found his voice.

0:19:420:19:46

It'd be so nice to just, like, sit down here,

0:19:470:19:50

have breakfast, just looking at the...

0:19:500:19:52

Out at the sea.

0:19:520:19:55

Perse is a little confused by the decor, however.

0:19:550:19:58

Do you know, it's quite a difference in the kitchen, isn't it?

0:19:580:20:01

A feel of the '70s.

0:20:010:20:05

I think, exterior-wise, it's absolutely amazing.

0:20:050:20:08

I think, interior-wise,

0:20:080:20:09

-I want to see more, really, before I make a judgment.

-Yeah.

0:20:090:20:13

A move through into the living area just confuses her a little more.

0:20:130:20:16

The layout just doesn't make any sense to me.

0:20:160:20:18

Sort of,

0:20:180:20:20

two tables next to each other, and then there's the table at the end,

0:20:200:20:23

and then there's the breakfast bar. I mean, how many tables does a family need?

0:20:230:20:26

There's four right there.

0:20:260:20:28

But obviously this is somebody's home and it's set up in a way that makes sense for them.

0:20:280:20:31

It's trying to achieve a retro look.

0:20:310:20:34

In search of their own space, the children head outside,

0:20:360:20:39

while Mum and Debbie continue their tour.

0:20:390:20:42

The first bedroom they see, again, seems...odd.

0:20:420:20:46

That's kind of weird.

0:20:460:20:49

-I don't know. Doesn't appeal to me.

-LAUGHTER

0:20:490:20:51

Shower, yes. Toilet, not so much.

0:20:510:20:54

-Not so much.

-I want a door,

0:20:540:20:55

-and I want walls that go to the ceiling.

-LAUGHTER

0:20:550:20:59

This was meant to be their dream property,

0:20:590:21:02

but it's shaping up to be far from it.

0:21:020:21:04

That's not quite in keeping...

0:21:080:21:10

That's from the '50s.

0:21:110:21:13

-The dressing gown matches the bedspread.

-LAUGHTER

0:21:130:21:17

-Someone loves this house.

-I know, I know,

0:21:170:21:19

-I can tell that somebody loves the house.

-Just not them.

0:21:190:21:23

Will the bathroom change things?

0:21:230:21:25

Ah. Well, that's not really in keeping with the '70s.

0:21:250:21:27

-That's all right.

-LAUGHTER

0:21:270:21:30

But why would you do it in a completely different style?

0:21:300:21:33

-Time to see the price.

-OK.

-LAUGHTER

0:21:350:21:38

Quick!

0:21:380:21:39

I think they called this viewing short.

0:21:390:21:42

Let's see what it would cost to rent.

0:21:420:21:44

So, what about the price on this one?

0:21:460:21:49

Well, it's outside of Hamilton.

0:21:490:21:52

-Yep.

-Quite a way outside of Hamilton.

0:21:520:21:54

-But, I mean, the views...

-The view is stunning.

-It's breathtaking.

-Absolutely.

0:21:540:21:58

-It's probably, thankfully, very beyond budget.

-LAUGHTER

0:21:580:22:01

19?

0:22:030:22:05

-Shall we say two?

-Go on, then, say 2,000.

0:22:050:22:09

22. Nearly 23 per month.

0:22:110:22:14

That's almost £800 over budget.

0:22:140:22:17

At least there's an upside.

0:22:170:22:19

-Making house number two look a bit more...

-Affordable.

0:22:190:22:22

-Affordable.

-LAUGHTER

0:22:220:22:24

House-hunting has given the family a real idea of what they can and can't

0:22:240:22:27

afford. Are they going to need higher salaries to live the dream?

0:22:270:22:31

Property one took everyone's breath away with its size and modern, sleek

0:22:310:22:35

feel - not to mention the all-important hot tub!

0:22:350:22:39

House number two, if anything, was almost more suitable for the

0:22:390:22:43

family, with its cosier feel and better

0:22:430:22:45

location. The rental, however, was £300 over budget.

0:22:450:22:50

And property three - well, it failed to impress on almost all fronts,

0:22:500:22:54

didn't it? Except the view,

0:22:540:22:56

which wasn't enough to make up for the confused layout and different

0:22:560:22:59

design. Indeed, the fact it was £800 over budget

0:22:590:23:03

almost came as a relief.

0:23:030:23:05

So, when it comes to homes in New Zealand,

0:23:050:23:08

will the family vote for the UK or down under?

0:23:080:23:11

Based on the properties that we've seen today, our vote goes to...

0:23:110:23:15

-..New Zealand!

-Undecided!

-Undecided!

0:23:250:23:27

-New Zealand!

-LAUGHTER

0:23:290:23:32

They were all at the top of or above our,

0:23:320:23:35

the higher end of our budget.

0:23:350:23:37

They were also the top end of our expectations.

0:23:370:23:41

So I think that there's still something there that's going to be

0:23:410:23:44

more value for money than what we could achieve with the terraced

0:23:440:23:47

house in England.

0:23:470:23:48

Yeah. Looked at three very different properties, some of which we've liked,

0:23:480:23:52

some of which we've not liked so much.

0:23:520:23:55

-We now need to, kind of, figure out what we can earn.

-Mm-hmm.

0:23:550:23:58

-So, that's for tomorrow.

-Yes.

-Let's go.

-Let's go.

0:23:580:24:01

If the family are to find their dream home,

0:24:080:24:10

then it looks like they're going to need a bigger budget,

0:24:100:24:13

which makes finding the right jobs even more crucial.

0:24:130:24:16

Back home in the UK, Debbie is a doctor.

0:24:170:24:20

I'm currently in the early stages of my postgraduate training.

0:24:210:24:25

I'm hoping to enter into emergency medicine as a speciality.

0:24:250:24:29

Working with patients, treating them,

0:24:300:24:33

and seeing them go home is a great pleasure.

0:24:330:24:36

The downside is long hours and a massive impact on home life.

0:24:360:24:40

Trying to balance this, Debbie has gone part-time.

0:24:410:24:45

We have a little less money,

0:24:450:24:46

but we're a bit more enriched by the family time we have together.

0:24:460:24:50

So how would New Zealand change things?

0:24:500:24:53

I think that, in medicine,

0:24:530:24:56

the job is more or less the same wherever you go.

0:24:560:25:00

The difference would be the working hours, and if we can get the working

0:25:000:25:03

hours right, then yes,

0:25:030:25:05

we could definitely make a go of it.

0:25:050:25:08

Perse has almost completed a PhD

0:25:080:25:10

and wants to build a career in education.

0:25:100:25:13

The job that I'd be looking for, ideally, would be as a lecturer in

0:25:130:25:16

entrepreneurship and small business management,

0:25:160:25:19

to combine my passion for research and my passions for teaching.

0:25:190:25:23

But securing the right job may not be as straightforward for Perse as

0:25:230:25:27

-Debbie.

-Wherever there is a teaching hospital,

0:25:270:25:30

Debbie will be able to find work.

0:25:300:25:32

It's not necessarily the case, because I'm at this stage in my

0:25:320:25:35

career, that wherever there is a university,

0:25:350:25:37

I'll be able to walk straight into a job in the same way.

0:25:370:25:40

It does make things significantly more complex, I would say.

0:25:400:25:44

Debbie is visiting Waikato Hospital in Hamilton,

0:25:470:25:50

where she's met by expat Willeen Reid,

0:25:500:25:53

manager of childcare services.

0:25:530:25:55

-Pleased to meet you.

-Come on in.

0:25:550:25:57

But what will she make of Debbie's experience?

0:25:570:26:01

I understand that you've done four month of paediatric SHO level.

0:26:010:26:05

-I'm currently in that at the moment, yeah.

-Yeah, yeah.

0:26:050:26:07

So working as an SHO for the first year would give you the opportunity

0:26:070:26:11

-to learn the New Zealand health system, obviously...

-Yeah.

-..while

0:26:110:26:14

settling yourself and your family into New Zealand and into your

0:26:140:26:18

-new way of life.

-Mm-hmm.

-An encouraging start.

0:26:180:26:21

Across town, Perse is visiting Waikato Institute of Technology and

0:26:220:26:27

meets chief executive Mark Flowers.

0:26:270:26:30

Mark has read Perse's CV, and it seems her subject area is in demand.

0:26:300:26:34

There's an appetite for people that know what we're talking about.

0:26:340:26:38

-Yeah.

-It's quite difficult to recruit people with that sort of

0:26:380:26:41

-skill set.

-Just about to complete her PhD,

0:26:410:26:44

Perse is keen to know what experience she'll need to become a

0:26:440:26:48

lecturer in New Zealand.

0:26:480:26:49

My gut feeling is that you should more play towards your

0:26:490:26:54

understanding of this whole context.

0:26:540:26:57

I don't think this thing swings around teaching experience.

0:26:570:26:59

You know, the biggest problems are getting people who can think outside

0:26:590:27:03

-the traditional teaching regime...

-Mmm.

0:27:030:27:06

..use new teaching methods,

0:27:060:27:08

and get that to connect up with businesses or enterprises...

0:27:080:27:11

-Yes.

-..and with a particular focus on innovation.

0:27:110:27:15

And that is Perse's specialist subject.

0:27:150:27:19

Time to talk money.

0:27:190:27:21

What would an entry-level lecturer

0:27:210:27:25

at Wintec expect to earn?

0:27:250:27:27

That will be somewhere in the order of say £40,000 or £50,000.

0:27:270:27:32

There's quite of lot of flex in that, depending on a variety of...

0:27:320:27:34

-The skills that you can bring.

-Skills you bring and maybe the level

0:27:340:27:37

-of responsibility or stuff around it.

-OK.

0:27:370:27:39

And finally, Perse wants to get Mark's personal perspective on

0:27:390:27:43

-opportunities in New Zealand.

-It's a much smaller country -

0:27:430:27:47

4 million people, the size of the UK.

0:27:470:27:49

It's just not a crowded country.

0:27:490:27:51

-Yeah, yeah.

-You know, there are wonderful opportunities in places.

0:27:510:27:55

Back at the hospital, Debbie is sitting down with Willeen to dig

0:27:550:27:58

deeper into her career prospects.

0:27:580:28:00

I thought I would start with the rosters,

0:28:020:28:03

because you talked about lifestyle.

0:28:030:28:05

-Yeah.

-So this would be an example of what a roster would look like.

0:28:050:28:09

So it's a combination of days, afternoons,

0:28:090:28:12

and nights, as you can see.

0:28:120:28:14

What would be the hours? So you said acute - is that, like, 12 and a half?

0:28:140:28:18

-No, eight hours.

-Eight hours?

-Eight hours.

-Gosh.

0:28:180:28:21

No, we don't do long days for house officers.

0:28:210:28:23

Well, that's pretty different.

0:28:230:28:25

That's a definite improvement on Debbie's shift patterns back home.

0:28:250:28:29

It's one box ticked.

0:28:290:28:30

Next?

0:28:300:28:32

Obviously, one of the big questions, what am I looking to earn?

0:28:320:28:36

Starting as a house officer with us,

0:28:360:28:38

your pay would be comparable to

0:28:380:28:41

£50,000.

0:28:410:28:42

-OK.

-That's 8,000 more than she's on at the moment.

0:28:420:28:45

And then, as a registrar, your pay

0:28:450:28:47

would start round about the £62,000.

0:28:470:28:50

OK, so that is actually considerably more for both of them as to what I'm

0:28:500:28:54

earning at the moment.

0:28:540:28:56

That's sounding very, very exciting.

0:28:560:29:00

A second box checked, but what's the diagnosis on opportunities?

0:29:000:29:04

Willeen has a prescription for that, too.

0:29:040:29:07

I've put my card here with my e-mail address on it.

0:29:070:29:10

More than happy for you to e-mail an application to me directly,

0:29:100:29:13

and we'll pursue your application from there.

0:29:130:29:16

Well, that was a dose of good news.

0:29:160:29:19

At the end of their respective work days,

0:29:190:29:21

Debbie and Perse meet up to compare notes.

0:29:210:29:24

And it was a really good conversation.

0:29:240:29:27

The long and short of it is that my

0:29:270:29:29

shift pattern is better than at home.

0:29:290:29:32

The salary...

0:29:330:29:36

..is 50 grand.

0:29:360:29:38

And, although the applications have closed,

0:29:380:29:41

she said that I can e-mail her an application

0:29:410:29:45

and they start their year in December,

0:29:450:29:47

-which is when I...

-Which is when you finish your...

-..finish too.

0:29:470:29:50

Wow, that's amazing!

0:29:500:29:51

-I got to speak to the CEO of Wintec.

-Mm-hmm.

0:29:510:29:54

He was talking about 40 to 50K.

0:29:540:29:57

So lots of potential opportunity there and really exciting stuff.

0:29:570:30:01

-That's great.

-Really, really fantastic.

0:30:010:30:03

Time to vote - which way will it go?

0:30:030:30:05

And our work vote goes to...

0:30:050:30:07

-BOTH:

-..New Zealand!

0:30:180:30:19

Well, that's no surprise.

0:30:200:30:22

So far, so good.

0:30:220:30:24

And each day, this family's New Zealand dream looks more and more

0:30:240:30:28

like it might really happen.

0:30:280:30:30

Halfway through their trial week, and the family's dream of moving to

0:30:350:30:39

New Zealand has shifted into a higher gear.

0:30:390:30:42

And yet, with the all-important financial reality check

0:30:420:30:46

and messages from home still to come, things can still stall.

0:30:460:30:51

First, though, a day sampling the sort of lifestyle the family might

0:30:510:30:56

be able to enjoy in New Zealand gives everyone a chance to gather

0:30:560:31:00

their thoughts before moving forward to the second part of the week.

0:31:000:31:03

So they'll need wet suits, gumboots -

0:31:080:31:10

that's wellies to you and me -

0:31:100:31:12

and of course an expert guide - Gareth.

0:31:120:31:16

And while Raphie kept a low profile during the house-hunting,

0:31:160:31:20

he's trailblazing in the rapids.

0:31:200:31:22

Three, two, one! Woohoo!

0:31:230:31:25

And a family leap of faith sees Debbie bring up the rear,

0:31:260:31:29

and Raphie leads a chorus of encouragement.

0:31:290:31:32

CHEERING

0:31:320:31:34

And the judges award full marks for effort and 5.9 for style.

0:31:340:31:38

The journey into a life down under continues.

0:31:420:31:44

OK, you guys wait there, chill out.

0:31:460:31:48

-I'm going to set up some abseiling.

-Chill is right!

0:31:480:31:51

Time for a warm-up and the world-famous Kiwi...banana dance?!

0:31:510:31:57

Bananas of the world, unite!

0:31:570:31:59

And...peel, peel, peel, peel bananas!

0:31:590:32:02

And peel, peel, peel, peel bananas!

0:32:020:32:05

And chop, chop, chop, chop bananas!

0:32:050:32:08

And go, go, go, go bananas!

0:32:080:32:11

CHEERING

0:32:110:32:13

Onwards and downwards, and Raphie again leads the way,

0:32:160:32:19

towards a nice refreshing shower.

0:32:190:32:22

That was a day out to celebrate.

0:32:270:32:29

INDISTINCT CHEERING

0:32:320:32:34

All that exercise has worked up an appetite,

0:32:370:32:40

so time for another local tradition -

0:32:400:32:43

fish and chips?

0:32:430:32:45

-Well, not just

-any

-fish and chips.

0:32:450:32:48

I think the fishing boat's right there.

0:32:480:32:50

That's how fresh the fish are.

0:32:500:32:52

So it takes it to another level.

0:32:520:32:55

It's been a truly memorable day.

0:32:550:32:59

Looking out over this wonderful scenery, it's just been a really

0:32:590:33:02

fantastic day all in all, hasn't it, guys?

0:33:020:33:04

Yeah, definitely. It's one of the best days I've ever had.

0:33:040:33:08

How much did you love it, out of ten?

0:33:080:33:11

-73.

-LAUGHTER

0:33:110:33:14

-Well, that's quite a lot.

-That's saying a lot, yeah.

0:33:140:33:16

-What about you, Tils?

-I thought it was really good.

0:33:160:33:18

I would love to do more of that sort of stuff.

0:33:180:33:21

Yeah, I think a good time was had by all.

0:33:210:33:23

A day they'll never forget, but how will they vote?

0:33:230:33:26

-ALL:

-New Zealand!

0:33:340:33:36

The Santa Claras' dream of a new

0:33:410:33:42

life in New Zealand seems to be edging ever closer.

0:33:420:33:46

However, the finances need to stack up.

0:33:460:33:49

Time to count the costs and see if they can afford to live down under.

0:33:490:33:53

-Rinse aid for the dishwasher, £1.24 more expensive here.

-Mm-hmm.

0:33:550:33:59

I think the vegetables generally are more expensive.

0:33:590:34:03

And the thing that leaps out is the cost of smoked salmon,

0:34:030:34:06

so we're going to have to give up smoked salmon.

0:34:060:34:08

-It's £10.34 more expensive!

-LAUGHTER

0:34:080:34:12

Custard, £2.29 more expensive.

0:34:120:34:15

That's a lot more expensive, actually, isn't it?

0:34:150:34:18

-Oh, can't do without our custard.

-You can't, no.

0:34:180:34:21

And when they add up the weekly shopping bill...

0:34:210:34:24

£43.70 more expensive per week

0:34:240:34:29

here in New Zealand.

0:34:290:34:31

Mm-hmm. OK. It's not hugely shocking.

0:34:310:34:36

Perhaps not, but when the wider costs of rent, utilities

0:34:360:34:39

and other bills are added up, the financial forecast doesn't improve.

0:34:390:34:43

How do you pay for water?

0:34:430:34:45

-£536 more expensive in New Zealand, per month.

-Per month.

0:34:450:34:50

That's a lot of money.

0:34:500:34:52

-It is a lot of money.

-It's...it's not great.

0:34:520:34:55

The overall financial outcome will depend

0:34:550:34:58

on what Debbie and Perse can earn...

0:34:580:35:00

..and that might brighten the outlook.

0:35:010:35:04

So, based on the kinds of figures that we were talking about,

0:35:040:35:09

the comparative wage for full-time work would give us £2,311...

0:35:090:35:16

More per month.

0:35:160:35:18

-..being here.

-Being here.

0:35:180:35:20

-Does it make you happy?

-It does. Yes, very much so.

-LAUGHTER

0:35:200:35:26

So, then, that means, annually, they'll be better off by...

0:35:260:35:29

£21,300 per year...

0:35:310:35:36

-Per year, better off.

-..better off

0:35:360:35:38

-in New Zealand.

-So, as far as Debbie's concerned...

0:35:380:35:41

-It's a done deal.

-It's in the bag!

-LAUGHTER

0:35:410:35:45

-Shall we book our flights now...

-Yes.

-..to come back?

0:35:450:35:47

I think the outcome of this vote is a safe bet,

0:35:470:35:50

but let's see.

0:35:500:35:51

So, after looking at our outgoings and potential income,

0:35:510:35:55

our vote goes to...

0:35:550:35:57

-BOTH:

-..New Zealand!

0:36:030:36:05

-It was a bit of a no-brainer really, wasn't it?

-It was, rather.

0:36:050:36:08

The Santa Claras are facing a huge decision that will affect them and

0:36:120:36:16

their friends and family.

0:36:160:36:18

Will the lure of a new life in New Zealand be enough to convince them

0:36:180:36:21

to leave it all behind?

0:36:210:36:23

The whole family sit down to watch messages from

0:36:240:36:27

loved ones back home.

0:36:270:36:29

-So, you guys ready?

-Yeah.

-OK.

0:36:290:36:32

-Hi, guys.

-Hi.

-Hi!

0:36:370:36:39

Hello, Debbie. Hello, Perse.

0:36:390:36:41

Hi, guys. Have fun, enjoy it.

0:36:410:36:44

LAUGHTER

0:36:440:36:46

Perse and Debbie are incredibly committed to each other.

0:36:460:36:50

They work incredibly well together as a couple, and we're just

0:36:500:36:55

delighted with them and their little family.

0:36:550:36:59

Probably the most beautiful children you've ever met.

0:36:590:37:02

-Because they've got this beautiful blonde hair.

-LAUGHTER

0:37:020:37:04

Perse's always had a slightly wild streak in her.

0:37:040:37:07

She's always been looking at doing crazy ideas -

0:37:070:37:09

going here, going there.

0:37:090:37:10

We were a little bit, sort of, gobsmacked to start with,

0:37:100:37:14

but I can see it's really exciting.

0:37:140:37:18

I think if it's financially viable, and I think if they find...

0:37:180:37:21

Well, I don't think they'll have a problem finding work.

0:37:210:37:24

I'd imagine, if all of those things are in place,

0:37:240:37:26

they'll probably do it.

0:37:260:37:28

It's a worry, because

0:37:280:37:30

of not being able to see them as often as we would like to.

0:37:300:37:34

If they do decide to move to New Zealand, I would really miss Raphie,

0:37:340:37:38

cos we've shared so many...so many memories together.

0:37:380:37:41

-I would really miss him.

-If they do decide to move down there,

0:37:410:37:45

that'll be a big part of my close family life that disappears.

0:37:450:37:49

I'll be sad not to have that.

0:37:490:37:51

I think you've got to follow your hopes and your dreams and just go

0:37:510:37:54

for it, and it also means that I can come out and visit you and have

0:37:540:37:57

-a holiday.

-LAUGHTER

0:37:570:37:59

I think life happens, and if you have to make a huge move,

0:37:590:38:03

and if it's a betterment for your family, that's what you need to do.

0:38:030:38:08

Whatever you choose, you know, I'm there.

0:38:080:38:11

If you're here, we're still here.

0:38:110:38:14

And if you go, I'll go, and we'll go and pay you a visit,

0:38:140:38:17

that's for sure.

0:38:170:38:19

This is a major, major decision,

0:38:190:38:21

but in my view, you've got to go with your heart.

0:38:210:38:24

Do what your heart tells you and you'll be happy.

0:38:240:38:27

We do consider you some of our closest friends, and you've made us

0:38:270:38:30

so welcome here in Norwich, and we're so grateful for everything

0:38:300:38:32

you've done for us. But that being said, we'll support whatever decision you make,

0:38:320:38:37

and we'll help you, and we will throw you the best leaving party ever.

0:38:370:38:40

LAUGHTER

0:38:400:38:43

I think this is a really exciting opportunity,

0:38:430:38:45

and I think you should jump at it. Carpe diem.

0:38:450:38:47

You've always made the right decisions,

0:38:470:38:50

you've always managed to evaluate everything correctly.

0:38:500:38:53

So I'm sure you'll do very well.

0:38:530:38:55

Good luck with everything.

0:38:570:38:58

Awesome.

0:39:020:39:03

So, what do you think, guys?

0:39:030:39:05

That was very emotional.

0:39:050:39:07

Very emotional, was it?

0:39:070:39:09

Our friends saying how they'll, like, miss us.

0:39:090:39:12

I think it's nice that people would want us to, like, follow our...

0:39:120:39:15

follow whatever we want to do.

0:39:150:39:18

But it is, it is going to be really sad, like, when we leave

0:39:180:39:22

all of our friends behind.

0:39:220:39:26

At the start of the week,

0:39:260:39:27

the Santa Clara-De Magdalenes set New Zealand a challenge -

0:39:270:39:31

"Wow us all and we'll move."

0:39:310:39:33

And after a slow start on the property front,

0:39:330:39:36

it seemed to be doing just that.

0:39:360:39:39

But messages from home always make families think again,

0:39:390:39:43

and this has been no different.

0:39:430:39:46

What would YOU do?

0:39:460:39:48

It's time for the final vote.

0:39:480:39:50

As they prepare to pack up and leave New Zealand,

0:39:510:39:53

it's a thoughtful family that reflects on their trial week.

0:39:530:39:57

This week has been one of the most enjoyable weeks I've ever had.

0:39:570:40:01

Really, what we needed to see was whether the fantasy could match the

0:40:040:40:08

reality, and, you know, we've got all of that information at our fingertips.

0:40:080:40:12

But with such strong connections at home,

0:40:120:40:14

how do Raphie and Tilly feel about their week?

0:40:140:40:18

This week has been really fun for me,

0:40:180:40:20

because we've, like, done loads of fun activities.

0:40:200:40:24

The best bit about the week

0:40:240:40:26

was the day out we had, because that was just amazing.

0:40:260:40:30

And I also really liked looking around the houses.

0:40:300:40:33

It was, it was really good.

0:40:330:40:35

However, moving the children to the other side of the world is not

0:40:350:40:39

something to be taken lightly,

0:40:390:40:41

and Debbie has concerns about Raphie.

0:40:410:40:44

I'm a little worried on Raphie's side of things,

0:40:440:40:46

because he feels quite emotionally attached to his friends.

0:40:460:40:50

I'm picking that up more and more as we go through this week.

0:40:500:40:53

I really like New Zealand.

0:40:530:40:55

Um, it's just I don't really want to leave all my friends and

0:40:550:40:59

family and, like, my dad and stuff.

0:40:590:41:03

Tilly absolutely will vote, I think, Kiwi.

0:41:030:41:07

I think that Raphie is probably going to be undecided.

0:41:070:41:11

We'll see how that goes.

0:41:110:41:13

As the final vote approaches, minds are being made up.

0:41:130:41:17

Well, most.

0:41:170:41:19

But, yes, I know which way I'm going to vote.

0:41:190:41:21

Yeah, I think I've got a pretty good idea of how I'm going to vote.

0:41:210:41:23

I'm not really sure at the moment,

0:41:230:41:26

but I'm sure I'll be able to decide by the final vote.

0:41:260:41:29

We haven't been here for long,

0:41:290:41:31

and, like, we don't really know everything about it,

0:41:310:41:34

so I think it's going to be a tough decision.

0:41:340:41:37

Perse remains determined that it's all or nothing for this family's

0:41:370:41:40

dreams of a life down under.

0:41:400:41:43

It'll take just one vote for the UK and the whole move is off.

0:41:430:41:48

How will they vote?

0:41:480:41:49

After an interesting and exciting fact-finding mission in New Zealand,

0:41:540:41:58

our final vote goes to...

0:41:580:42:00

-ALL:

-..New Zealand!

0:42:160:42:18

Wahey!

0:42:180:42:20

That's all four. Wow, Raph!

0:42:200:42:23

I loved New Zealand this week, I thought it was excellent.

0:42:230:42:26

The only worry I had was, of course, friends and family,

0:42:260:42:29

but seeing them on TV really gave me courage.

0:42:290:42:34

Oh, I just think New Zealand is so cool,

0:42:340:42:36

and just...

0:42:360:42:38

It made me vote for New Zealand.

0:42:380:42:40

More disposable income, better job prospects, more interesting jobs.

0:42:400:42:45

New Zealand all the way for me.

0:42:450:42:47

Yep. On the whole, if I have to choose a cold,

0:42:470:42:51

-I'll choose this cold.

-Great.

-LAUGHTER

0:42:510:42:54

Well, in the end it was a unanimous decision by all the family.

0:42:540:42:59

Hopefully, the Santa Clara-De Magdalenes can now

0:42:590:43:02

progress to turning this vote into a reality.

0:43:020:43:06

We wish them all the very best of luck in the future.

0:43:060:43:10

-Kiwi hug!

-ALL:

-Kiwi hug!

0:43:100:43:12

LAUGHTER

0:43:120:43:14

FUNKY MUSIC PLAYS

0:43:140:43:17

Since meeting, Persephone De Magdalene and Debbie Santa Clara have shared a dream of emigrating. Their main motivation is a better work-life balance. Debbie is a doctor and worked up to 80 hours a week, so it fell to Persephone to put her academic career on hold in order to keep family and home life going. But never being a part of family life took its toll on Debbie who decided to cut down on her hours so she could spend more time with her partner and children. But that brought its own set of problems, mainly money problems. With only a part time wage coming in, life became a financial strain.

Their desire to move across the world is more than just about money. As a gay couple, they want acceptance and tolerance and believe New Zealand is a more attractive culture and society for same sex couples. The time is right for a trial week. If they were to go now it would dovetail perfectly with the children moving from primary to secondary school as well as Debbie neatly reaching the end of one training period and about to start a new one.

The two children have a close and loving relationship with their father but he has given his blessing to a move. Nonetheless, Tilly and Raphael know they would miss him hugely. And Debbie is very close to her mum too, so there will be tears.

A trial week gives them a sense of the life they could have and afford in New Zealand.