MacEwan Family Wanted Down Under


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MacEwan Family

British families explore the idea of moving to Australia or New Zealand. After a painful divorce Lindy wants a new start in NZ. Can she convince her husband to go?


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After a painful divorce, Lindy MacEwan longs for a fresh start.

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I focus on the kids, my job and Steve,

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and that's kind of my little bubble that I live in.

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Lindy thinks moving to a new life down under could be the answer.

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New jobs, new opportunities, it's the right thing to do.

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There's just one big problem.

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Hubby, Steve, is happy with his lot in Scotland.

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We've got a nice house, we're a stone's throw away from a school,

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we've got good friends, why change it?

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A trial week in New Zealand sees Steve possibly come round to the move...

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Yeah, I could definitely see us here, like.

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..while forcing Lindy to confront her own doubts.

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He's flipped towards the, "Yeah, we'll go to New Zealand,"

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and I'm kind of like, "Well, maybe we need to think about this a wee bit more."

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This family isn't sure where their future together lies.

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With a small population, less than half of that of London,

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and over 2,000 hours of sunshine each year,

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it's no wonder New Zealand's a draw for Brits seeking a brighter future.

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But achieving the dream lifestyle on the other side of the world doesn't

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always work out, and every year many return with their dreams shattered.

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It's been her dream for years, but now Lindy MacEwan feels it's

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time to decide once and for all if New Zealand really is the land of opportunity,

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with the great outdoor lifestyle she's heard so much about.

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But it's not going to be easy to persuade her rugby mad hubby Steve

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to move, because he's more than content with his lot in Fife.

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Across one week, the MacEwans will get to see the sort of life they

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could lead and afford if they relocated down under,

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before voting on where their future lies.

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The 23-hour journey to Auckland has seen the MacEwans travel more than

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10,000 miles from Scotland, but they've taken the trip in their stride.

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I thought it wasn't too bad.

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It was long and a bit stressful with the four kids,

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but it was not too bad.

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It's been a long journey but a good journey and the grub was good, so...

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It was OK, but, like, it was quite long.

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It's the family's first time on Kiwi soil and for Lindy,

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it's been a long time coming.

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Feeling quite excited.

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We're hopeful that it's going to be good, yeah.

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We'll find out as much information as we can and then hopefully by the

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end, we'll know whether New Zealand's the place

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we need to be or not.

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This could be a better life for us.

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The only way to find that out is to do this trial week and then see if

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it's going to work for us or not.

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Hopefully it will, because it does look like a lovely country and I've

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only been in it two minutes, but just going to see how it goes.

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Looks like Steve's already smitten,

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but he's not making any promises just yet.

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I've got a successful business, I've got a good job,

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so we'd have to match that if not be better for me to consider to move to

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a different country.

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Hopefully it'll turn out the way I want it to turn out,

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but we'll soon find out.

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Fingers crossed, Lindy.

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Ahead lies a week that could change the family's lives forever.

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Meet the MacEwans.

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There's Steve and Lindy, children Niamh, aged nine, Cohen, aged five,

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Kane, who's three and baby Rain-Rose, who's just three months.

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It's second time around for both Steve and Lindy.

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The two got together seven years ago when they split from their

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respective partners.

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We started quick.

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We were together a month and Lindy with pregnant with Cohen, so...

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So it was meant to be!

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It's developed into a great relationship.

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Lindy's been dreaming of a life down under ever since she was 18.

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There's been certain points throughout my life where it's kind

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of like, I'm going to go and it's just never,

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it's just never kind of happened.

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Although he's not totally against the idea, Steve's got reservations.

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I have a good business here, I have a good job here,

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Lindy has a good job here.

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We've got a nice house, we're a stone's throw away from a school.

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We've got good friends, with our family...

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-Why change it?

-You know, he's very much if life's not broken, why fix it?

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But I don't think he kind of sees it that, well, for me it's a bit broken.

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On the surface Lindy's life appears good, but deep down she's still

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reeling from the break-up of her first marriage.

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She talks about it but then bottles it again

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and then she'll stop talking about it. She doesn't open up a lot.

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I focus on the kids and my job and Steve,

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and that's kind of my little bubble that I live in.

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I'd love her to be more outgoing and grab a bottle of wine and go to a

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friend's house or, you know, go out with the girls.

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You know, Steve does have darts, he has poker and he's got his

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disco business and all that kind of stuff.

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And I don't really...

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I don't really have anything, to be honest.

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And Lindy is convinced that a new life in New Zealand is the way forward.

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I sometimes think a total clean break, going living there,

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new jobs, new opportunities,

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loads for the kids to do, is the right thing to do.

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But a move means separating Niamh,

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Lindy's daughter from her first marriage, from her father.

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I wouldn't get to see my dad as much as I see him now.

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I'll miss having fun with him.

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I think if Niamh was to say, "Mum, I definitely don't want to go",

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then the chances are we wouldn't go, because I wouldn't leave her here, obviously.

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Oh, big sneezes!

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Then there's Steve's mum.

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She's a generous, lovely woman that will help anybody.

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She makes dinner, she's kind.

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She's helped look after the kids so that I could go back to

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work and stuff.

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Every time I speak to my mum about moving to New Zealand, she cries and

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says, "You're not taking my grandchildren away from me."

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A trial week will help the family experience the life they might have

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in New Zealand.

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It's exactly what we need to give us the decision whether we

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could or should move to New Zealand.

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This very together couple are places apart as far as a move down under is

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concerned, but Steve is supportive and for Lindy, the time is now.

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It's always been a dream of hers, and for me,

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if I can make that come true or if I can make her happy by doing it,

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then we may as well give it a go.

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Because I think if I don't do it now...

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..then we'll never do it.

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For their trial week, the MacEwans are staying in Hamilton,

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in the Waikato region of New Zealand's North Island.

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Their temporary home is a '60s style split-level house overlooking the city.

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It's spacious, nice.

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Wow, that is some view.

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-We could go out into the garden.

-Yeah, and play rugby!

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-Yeah.

-I think it looks nice, so far so good, anyway.

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Both Steve and Lindy like what they see so far.

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Even the weather seems to be onside.

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I think if we got to see, like, what it was like when the weather's

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good, that would probably kind of cement things a lot better for us.

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Hopefully change some people's minds.

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Hmm, but it seems Lindy may have already scored an early conversion.

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You can already see, even from this house,

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they've got rugby stadiums over there.

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You know, once you hit a rugby club, you're home from home,

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it's a family background.

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You know finding a pub, maybe, that's got a darts team...

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That's always a plus.

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Well, we'll do our best, Steve!

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Back in the UK, the MacEwan family live in Fife on the east coast

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of Scotland in a four bedroom mid-terrace house.

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Since we've been here, it's been great.

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Nice big gardens for the kids to play in,

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just everything's ideal for us.

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If they did make the move down under, they'd rent out their UK house.

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So if it wasn't working or if it wasn't for us,

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we'd have a great place to come back.

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The couple also plan to rent down under and have set a budget

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of £1,200 per month.

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I want a bigger kitchen because my kitchen's not big here and I

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love a big kitchen.

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With loads of storage!

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For Steve, it's all about location.

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A park nearby that I could take the boys to,

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throw a rugby ball about with.

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Cohen has a very particular request.

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A house with a clock on the top and every time you come out,

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we can check what time it is.

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And Kane and Niamh have just one thing on their wish list.

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I would like a house with a pool.

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A swimming pool in the back garden, only if we get a house with that.

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For Lindy, relocating down under isn't all about moving to a better house.

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If we can afford to have a house that's slightly bigger,

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where there's a spare room for family coming over,

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that would be great.

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However, I don't want to go over there and have to work the same here

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to effectively have a better house out there.

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We're going across there to make life a little bit better

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and easier, not make it more difficult.

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To give the family an idea of what's on offer in the rental market in

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Hamilton, we're showing them three properties,

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two on budget and one which could be their dream home.

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Their search begins in Hamilton East.

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With plenty of parks, playgrounds and shopping outlets on the

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doorstep, this suburb's a popular spot with young families,

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so it could be ideal for the MacEwans.

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What will they make of this modern Kiwi bungalow?

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-This is a bit tight.

-A small wee cul-de-sac.

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But maybe it's deceiving and the inside will be much bigger.

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Nice hallway. Small but open plan.

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Kitchen's a bit small, but that's because that's my thing.

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Not to say that it wouldn't be liveable, I suppose.

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Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

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Can we cook up any positives?

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Possibly this could be just a kitchen-dining area,

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so you could have the table and chairs in there,

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if there was another living area.

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I wouldn't want to be watching telly and still smelling the curry that I

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made the night before.

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Oh, that's a no then.

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The children head outside with a childminder

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to play with a furry friend.

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Where'd he go?

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Meanwhile, back inside, things go from bad to worse.

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If this is the living room, it is very small.

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Lindy's beginning to worry.

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If this is, like, our budget,

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then I kind of think...

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Down to earth with a bump.

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And as they move upstairs,

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how is Lindy feeling about her first New Zealand house viewing?

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It's not making me feel like, "Oh, yeah, let's move here."

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Is Steve any more convinced?

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I wouldn't move from Scotland to here in this particular house,

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because it's just, we've got better back home, so what's the point?

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Oh, dear. And things are bad when Lindy,

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who is passionately behind the move, isn't taken by the house.

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The decor and the layout and stuff like that seems to be fine,

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but it's just a little bit small for the size of our family,

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like, compared to the size of the rooms back home, so far.

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Things brighten briefly in the bathroom.

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Nice big shower for me, I could actually move in that shower.

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That bath's tiny though, you're never getting in that bath!

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No, never. I don't fit in baths normally anyway.

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You're certainly not getting in that one!

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But what about the great outdoor living New Zealand is famous for?

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Hmm, it's not happening in this garden.

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Strange drain in the middle of your garden.

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Put the trampoline in here for the kids and then that's it.

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There is no view.

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It's just house, house, house, house, house.

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I don't like that.

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Then Lindy gets the giggles.

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I just think...

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You've got to wear your Speedos in the back garden

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and nobody will see you.

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Yeah, I can wear my Speedos in the back garden, yeah.

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That's my warped mind!

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A sight to behold, I'm sure!

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Time to get serious.

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Steve and Lindy's rental budget is £1,200 per month.

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So what do you think the price per calendar month is going to be on

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-this property?

-I'd be hoping it be about 600-700.

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See, I think this would be about £800-900 a month.

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You ready for me to turn over?

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-Mm-hmm.

-Yeah.

-OK.

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£1039 per month.

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-Nah, that's unbelievable, that's unbelievable.

-Really?

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Actually somebody would pay over £1,000 a month for this.

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I think they'd be off their head!

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That's not far off the budget.

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With their day discovering Hamilton properties off to a disappointing

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start, might Lindy's window of opportunity to convince Steve that a

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life down under is for them already be firmly closed?

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Property number two is 15 minutes away in Rototuna, north of Hamilton.

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It's a popular area that attracts young affluent families wanting to

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be out of the city but close to all the amenities they need - schools,

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shops and easy access to the Hamilton highways.

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This place looks like it has it all,

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but will it impress enough to get things back on track?

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Much better. I think I feel a bit more excited.

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Very lovely. The garden looks very high maintenance but I don't mind it.

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So far, so good.

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The two double doors are quite fancy.

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-This is lovely, yeah.

-Much bigger, looks as if we've got more space for

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all six of us, plus if relatives were to come over.

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-Very nice.

-First impressions are encouraging,

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but size is a big issue with the MacEwans.

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If the boys grow up like their dad to be six foot seven,

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they'll need space, and lots of it.

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Yeah, it's a better size kitchen.

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There's plenty of space, plenty of cupboards, plenty of storage space

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for putting all my baking things and whatever in.

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Yeah, no, I like it.

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Is Lindy daring to dream again?

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Fingers crossed they'll be enough bedrooms and not massively over budget.

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Big smiles all round, and as the three bedrooms get the thumbs up,

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Steve's picking up on the positives.

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This is a more realistic place where we could live and I do like

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everything that I've seen so far, so quite excited about this house.

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-Yeah.

-But he's not completely satisfied just yet.

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If we've got one more bedroom, it's like perfect.

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And lo and behold...

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Wahey!

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-Four bedrooms, happy days.

-This would be ideal for us,

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because everybody's got what they kind of need.

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-Quite excited.

-Ticks all the boxes so far,

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I'm really happy with what we've seen.

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Although the main bathroom is a bit small,

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the optimistic outlook continues into the man cave.

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That's garage to you and me.

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Is Steve beginning to see himself at home here?

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Ah, perfect. Bar, dartboard, yeah, my area, most definitely.

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It's a garage, how excited can you possibly be about a garage?

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At least he is excited.

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New Zealand may be getting a little bit closer and the garden seems to

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-be the real deal.

-Lovely, eh?

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Looks very tropical.

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Yeah, could definitely see us here, like.

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-Speedos on!

-Other swimming trunks are available.

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Might not get away with that quite so much here, though.

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Steve is definitely running with this now,

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but he's keeping his eye firmly fixed on the ball.

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When you look at this, your concerns sort of disappear.

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-Yeah.

-But to have a house like this, we have to have foundations,

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we have to have our careers in place, we have to have our jobs,

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where we're earning the money so we can afford a place like this.

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They love the property,

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but is it within their rental budget of £1,200 per month?

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I really want this to be not too much over budget,

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because I think it will be over budget

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because it's ideal and it ticks all our boxes that we wanted.

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-Are you ready for me to turn over?

-Yeah.

-OK.

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It is...£1270 a month.

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-No way, seriously?!

-Yeah.

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This is amazing. This is like bang on budget, exactly what we want,

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ticks all the boxes.

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-Totally.

-I suppose all we've got to do now is kick the tenants out of

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-here so we can...

-Move in.

-Move in!

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Spoken like the competitive rugby player Steve once was.

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Property two has impressed and it looks like the odds on Lindy

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persuading Steve to make the move could be swinging in her favour.

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And there's still one house to go.

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Returning to Hamilton east, where their search started,

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we found what we think could be the family's dream home,

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and perfect for dad Steve,

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this four bedroom villa has two pubs within walking distance.

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Oh, this is nice.

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Look at the kitchen!

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Nice big cooker, big range cooker, really nice.

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I'm loving the kitchen.

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Look at that cooker. I could bake loads of cakes in that.

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I could totally see myself having a kitchen like this, yeah.

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And Steve is talking about it as if it's Chez MacEwans already.

0:18:400:18:44

Yeah, take away the piano and put a 65 inch telly up there.

0:18:440:18:49

Totally different to anything I've ever lived in before.

0:18:490:18:51

-Yeah.

-It's nice, I like it.

0:18:510:18:53

And then they see through the windows, a pool.

0:18:530:18:57

-Oh, wow.

-Oh, my gosh!

0:18:570:18:59

This is beautiful. Look at the views.

0:18:590:19:02

Straight away, the pool's a massive plus.

0:19:020:19:05

The Speedos would be on, definitely!

0:19:050:19:06

-Definitely!

-No, there would be no Speedos.

0:19:080:19:10

-Yeah.

-No!

-I think this is the house.

0:19:100:19:15

And does this make you want to move to New Zealand?

0:19:150:19:17

I would say, "Yeah," for the swimming pool in the back garden

0:19:170:19:21

and a nice big house, and, "No," because I want to stay with my dad, so...

0:19:210:19:25

A first indication there of the emotional pull from home.

0:19:250:19:29

Back indoors, the main bedroom is on the ground floor.

0:19:300:19:33

Big double wardrobes.

0:19:350:19:36

High ceilings, super king-size bed.

0:19:370:19:39

-I love it.

-And then you've got the balcony as well.

0:19:390:19:43

Trying not to get too excited and be like, "I want this house,

0:19:430:19:47

"I want this house," and then it's like totally off the scale and not

0:19:470:19:51

necessarily possible.

0:19:510:19:54

But for now, this is proving to be the dream house and even the

0:19:550:19:59

bathroom is a perfect fit.

0:19:590:20:01

-Yeah, but that's what you...

-I love baths like that,

0:20:020:20:04

like the old-fashioned roll-top baths.

0:20:040:20:06

Yeah, I might actually fit in that bath.

0:20:060:20:09

-It's way bigger than our bathroom at home, way, way bigger.

-Yeah.

0:20:090:20:13

They explore more and find this is a house that keeps on giving.

0:20:130:20:17

Room after room registers a plus, but what about the garage?

0:20:180:20:23

Garages are for man caves, not for cars.

0:20:230:20:27

So the kids have got a pool, you've got a man cave.

0:20:270:20:29

-You've got your big kitchen.

-And then when youse are all out there,

0:20:290:20:32

I could just sit in the house in peace and quiet.

0:20:320:20:34

-Yeah.

-Sounds good to me.

0:20:340:20:35

So that's everyone sorted, then.

0:20:350:20:38

And this property's glorious garden gives a glimpse of a picture perfect

0:20:390:20:43

lifestyle that has just one cloud on the horizon.

0:20:430:20:47

So I wonder how much this is going to be over budget.

0:20:470:20:50

Do you think this is going to be a lot over budget

0:20:500:20:53

or maybe just a couple of hundred pounds?

0:20:530:20:56

Beginning to sound as if you really care, Steve.

0:20:560:20:59

I reckon it's going to be in around £1800-£2000.

0:20:590:21:03

I'd go with that, I'd say probably nearer the 2,000.

0:21:030:21:08

-Yeah. Any of you ready to flip it over?

-Yeah.

0:21:080:21:12

£1,500 per month.

0:21:150:21:19

That's a lot cheaper than I thought.

0:21:190:21:21

£300 more than Steve and Lindy had allocated,

0:21:210:21:24

but a lot less than expected.

0:21:240:21:26

Could they stretch their budget, and if so, which house would they go for?

0:21:260:21:32

Property two and property three are probably both within a budget that we would...

0:21:320:21:36

..we would be able to manage, definitely.

0:21:370:21:40

The MacEwans' property search started slowly but ended on a real high.

0:21:400:21:45

Property one wasn't for them at all.

0:21:450:21:47

It felt too cramped for this larger than life family.

0:21:470:21:50

And being right on budget was a big disappointment for Lindy,

0:21:500:21:54

her expectations plummeted.

0:21:540:21:57

House number two lifted their spirits.

0:21:570:21:59

Lindy and Steve loved the open plan layout and abundance of light

0:21:590:22:04

flooding the house. It ticked all the boxes and was within budget.

0:22:040:22:08

Could things get any better?

0:22:080:22:11

For Lindy they did with the dream house, with spectacular views,

0:22:110:22:14

fab kitchen, four bedrooms and a pool,

0:22:140:22:17

it seemed a perfect pad for the MacEwans.

0:22:170:22:20

It was over budget, but not as much as they'd feared.

0:22:200:22:23

So based on all they've learned,

0:22:230:22:25

will the family choose property in the UK or New Zealand?

0:22:250:22:29

New Zealand.

0:22:380:22:39

Well, Niamh has yet to be convinced,

0:22:400:22:42

but Steve's off and running and Lindy's on course.

0:22:420:22:46

House number two and this one are pretty phenomenal for what the price is.

0:22:460:22:51

A £1,500 house in Scotland,

0:22:510:22:54

you could not get something like this with a pool in the back garden.

0:22:540:22:56

No, definitely not.

0:22:560:22:58

Steve's vote for New Zealand is a great start to the week for Lindy,

0:23:010:23:04

but she knows it's a long game and everything's still to play for.

0:23:040:23:08

So for her dream to become a reality,

0:23:080:23:11

they'll both need to find jobs that will enable them to pay for it.

0:23:110:23:15

Back in the UK, Lindy's a nurse.

0:23:150:23:17

I'm dual registered, so I could be a general nurse or

0:23:190:23:21

work as a mental health nurse.

0:23:210:23:23

I've got a nurse prescribing qualification,

0:23:230:23:25

so I can prescribe medication as well.

0:23:250:23:27

Quite a lot of experience in different areas.

0:23:280:23:31

So there's always kind of loads of issues that come with it,

0:23:320:23:34

but I do enjoy being a nurse.

0:23:340:23:36

I couldn't imagine being anything else now.

0:23:360:23:39

Lindy's hoping she'll be earning more but working less in New Zealand.

0:23:400:23:44

I'm led to believe nurses are kind of paid a bit better over in

0:23:460:23:49

New Zealand than they are here in the UK.

0:23:490:23:51

So I'm hoping that going over there, working part-time,

0:23:520:23:55

there won't be a massive drop in my wage,

0:23:550:23:58

or at least if I had to work a full-time job,

0:23:580:24:02

the work-life balance is better.

0:24:020:24:04

Steve works in the prison service helping rehabilitate offenders.

0:24:050:24:09

I like helping people and understand that if I can stop somebody from

0:24:100:24:15

reoffending and going out into the communities and making a safer

0:24:150:24:19

Scotland, then I'm doing my job.

0:24:190:24:22

Steve also has his own mobile disco,

0:24:220:24:24

which he loves and brings in a bit of extra income.

0:24:240:24:26

I have the equipment, I'm ready to go with that.

0:24:260:24:30

It could be an option.

0:24:300:24:32

He's also wondering if early retirement is on the New Zealand cards.

0:24:320:24:37

Over here, we have to work until we're 68-years-old.

0:24:370:24:39

If I could retire in New Zealand at 55,

0:24:390:24:42

then it's going to be a better lifestyle straightaway.

0:24:420:24:44

The couple set off to explore their work opportunities in New Zealand.

0:24:460:24:51

First up, Lindy meets Carol Kennedy,

0:24:510:24:53

the Director of Nursing at a busy hospital in downtown Hamilton.

0:24:530:24:57

Carol has read Lindy's CV and is very quick to make encouraging noises.

0:24:590:25:03

We have a number of services and I see that you've done quite a bit in

0:25:040:25:08

your time as a nurse, so there's lots of opportunities.

0:25:080:25:11

With the skill set that I've got,

0:25:110:25:12

what kind of earning potential would I have,

0:25:120:25:14

in relation to coming over here and working as a nurse here?

0:25:140:25:17

You'd be graded at Grade 5, so you'd start at £35,000.

0:25:170:25:24

-OK.

-Yep.

-Sounds good!

0:25:240:25:27

That £6,000 more than she earns in Scotland.

0:25:270:25:30

A lot more than I earn back home.

0:25:300:25:32

So could she get a job in New Zealand?

0:25:320:25:35

Absolutely doable. I would encourage you to e-mail me directly,

0:25:350:25:38

because I've got contacts.

0:25:380:25:39

Now I've met you, I've got a sense of who you are and then what I'll do

0:25:390:25:43

is I'll flick out your CVs.

0:25:430:25:44

-But, of course, we want you to come to the Waikato. Yeah.

-Yeah!

0:25:440:25:49

So a very positive outcome for Lindy and the CEO of the hospital is keen

0:25:490:25:54

to meet her, too, as guess what...?

0:25:540:25:56

He's a fellow Fifer.

0:25:560:25:58

-I'm originally from Kirkcaldy.

-Wow, that's where I grew up.

0:25:580:26:01

-So which part?

-Derek and his family moved in 1992,

0:26:010:26:04

and New Zealand now feels very much like home.

0:26:040:26:07

Everything that we kind of loved about Scotland that had now gone,

0:26:070:26:11

was here. There's a lot of technology here, but they kind of,

0:26:110:26:15

I guess the way you live just feels like how we used to live back in Scotland.

0:26:150:26:19

So my kids settled really quickly.

0:26:190:26:21

Although Scotland's always home, I'd never go back and live there,

0:26:210:26:24

-I don't think.

-I feel quite excited.

0:26:240:26:25

You've got quite a strong background, I've seen your CV.

0:26:250:26:28

-Yeah.

-So I think you'd have real good opportunities.

0:26:280:26:30

Lovely, sounds good.

0:26:300:26:32

Lindy's feeling good about the day but cautiously concerned.

0:26:320:26:35

Everything depends on how Steve is getting on.

0:26:350:26:38

He's visiting Spring Hill Prison,

0:26:380:26:40

where he meets expat Prison Director, Chris Lightbown.

0:26:400:26:44

Steve is keen to find out how he found the big move to New Zealand.

0:26:450:26:49

My advice to you would be try not to overcomplicate it,

0:26:510:26:54

because the more you think about it,

0:26:540:26:55

there's 110 reasons why you wouldn't make the move.

0:26:550:26:58

Fantastic place to bring up children, great outdoor lifestyle,

0:26:580:27:02

good standard of living and you could have that.

0:27:020:27:04

I think it's a great place to live.

0:27:040:27:06

If I could offer you one piece of advice,

0:27:060:27:09

it would be think about ten things you're going to miss and then

0:27:090:27:12

completely forget about them.

0:27:120:27:14

I struggle to think about three!

0:27:140:27:16

Next, the facts and figures from recruitment officer Kate Forsyth and

0:27:170:27:21

Steve's keen to find out the process for getting a job.

0:27:210:27:24

The first part is completing the online psychometric assessment

0:27:240:27:30

and then we would invite you to an assessment centre.

0:27:300:27:33

That gives us the opportunity to see you in action.

0:27:330:27:36

So once you're through them, what do you have to do once you pass that?

0:27:360:27:40

The actual full training for a corrections officer in

0:27:400:27:43

New Zealand is 12 weeks.

0:27:430:27:44

What's the starting salary like?

0:27:440:27:46

When you start on your training, it's £26,000,

0:27:460:27:50

then once you graduate, it goes up to £27,000.

0:27:500:27:55

That's less than he earns in the UK and along with the stringent

0:27:550:27:58

recruitment and training process, it's definitely a knock-back,

0:27:580:28:02

although there are promotion opportunities.

0:28:020:28:05

But what about Steve's other key concern?

0:28:050:28:07

What's the pension age that you would retire at?

0:28:070:28:09

The retirement age is 65, yeah, yeah.

0:28:090:28:13

In saying that, we've still have a few officers that are sticking

0:28:130:28:17

around and we've got, I think, a couple that even up to the 70 mark.

0:28:170:28:20

-Is it?

-The jobs are that good here, that they don't want to go anywhere!

0:28:200:28:23

Yeah, that sounds good.

0:28:230:28:25

Retirement isn't as early as Steve had hoped,

0:28:250:28:27

so there's plenty to ponder.

0:28:270:28:29

OK, thanks very much. It's very good to have that sort of knowledge

0:28:290:28:32

now and understanding more about the job, thank you.

0:28:320:28:35

Thank you.

0:28:350:28:37

Steve and Lindy meet up to share their news.

0:28:370:28:40

-Hi, babe.

-Hi.

0:28:400:28:41

How'd you get on at your job, then?

0:28:410:28:44

Aye, it was really good. I'd be starting off,

0:28:440:28:46

I think it was roughly about £35,000.

0:28:460:28:49

The career progression's much better.

0:28:490:28:52

I really enjoyed it and I'm quite excited about the prospects of

0:28:520:28:56

-working over here.

-That's great.

-What about you?

0:28:560:28:58

Good. The facilities that the prisoners have over here are second to none.

0:28:590:29:04

My only concern is I'm starting at the bottom again,

0:29:040:29:07

so lesser wages for me than what I get back home.

0:29:070:29:10

But then I suppose you've got to think about why we're wanting to

0:29:100:29:13

-move here.

-Yeah, that's not to say that I wouldn't,

0:29:130:29:16

-but it's still that wee bit of doubt in my mind.

-Right.

0:29:160:29:19

I wonder which way this vote will go.

0:29:190:29:23

So, after finding out about our jobs today, our vote goes to...

0:29:230:29:27

-New Zealand.

-Undecided.

0:29:340:29:36

My only concern is starting at the bottom again and lesser wages.

0:29:370:29:42

The job itself would be good.

0:29:420:29:44

Well, I'm picking New Zealand because my career prospects are way

0:29:440:29:48

better, earning potential is way better, so go get the kids,

0:29:480:29:51

see what the next few days have got to bring and hopefully that might

0:29:510:29:54

sway you a bit more.

0:29:540:29:56

Halfway through their trial week,

0:30:000:30:03

and the MacEwan jury is still undecided.

0:30:030:30:05

We have no idea whether Lindy and Steve are going to get

0:30:050:30:10

a unanimous verdict on where this family's future lies.

0:30:100:30:14

What is certain is that with

0:30:140:30:16

the all-important financial reality check

0:30:160:30:19

and messages from home still to come,

0:30:190:30:22

things are bound to get more tense before a decision is made.

0:30:220:30:27

First, though, can a family day out in the great New Zealand outdoors

0:30:270:30:31

get Lindy's dream back on track?

0:30:310:30:34

-See, she's got little claws as well?

-Yeah.

0:30:350:30:38

The MacEwans start the day with a visit to Hamilton Zoo.

0:30:380:30:41

Kids are enjoying themselves.

0:30:410:30:43

As I say, we get to kind of spend time together as a family,

0:30:430:30:47

so hopefully, you know, the kids getting to do this,

0:30:470:30:49

and Steve kind of being involved as well will kind of cement everything together.

0:30:490:30:53

Enjoying warm winter weather,

0:30:530:30:55

the family head off to Ruakuri Caves

0:30:550:30:57

and an emotional reunion with an old friend of Steve's.

0:30:570:31:01

It's been over ten years since Steve's seen his old flatmate

0:31:030:31:06

and rugby buddy Jay.

0:31:060:31:08

-Looking well.

-Yeah, you are too.

0:31:080:31:10

THEY LAUGH

0:31:100:31:12

This is Lindy.

0:31:120:31:14

-Hello, how are you?

-I'm good, how are you?

-Good.

0:31:140:31:17

-Sorry, what's your name?

-Hi. Lindy.

0:31:170:31:19

Hi, Lindy, I'm Tammy.

0:31:190:31:21

-Hiya.

-Nice to meet you.

0:31:210:31:22

You're smiling, hello!

0:31:220:31:24

Well, the parents have hit it off. Now the children bond, Kiwi-style.

0:31:240:31:29

Lindy's spell on the bench allows her to compare notes on New Zealand

0:31:330:31:37

and set out her game plan.

0:31:370:31:39

So how's it all going anyway?

0:31:390:31:41

-I'm loving it.

-Yeah?

-Yeah, I really like it. I would move here tomorrow, I think.

0:31:420:31:48

And Jay applies his powers of persuasion to sway Steve.

0:31:480:31:51

And a bit of alfresco dining ends a perfect day.

0:31:520:31:56

Everything just gelled in and it was like perfect,

0:31:560:31:59

you know, the kids and that all mingling with the other kids around.

0:31:590:32:03

So I hope that they do come over because...really good people,

0:32:030:32:07

and awesome to be a part of my life.

0:32:070:32:08

It's great to have that sort of...

0:32:080:32:10

..know that you're not going over and knowing nobody,

0:32:100:32:13

not having a social network, so it's good to have that friendship.

0:32:130:32:16

So, Steve, let's put this in rugby terms.

0:32:180:32:21

Has the move to New Zealand been kicked into touch

0:32:210:32:24

or has this fun family day ended with a late conversion?

0:32:240:32:28

So, after a great day out today at the zoo, meeting up with Jay,

0:32:280:32:32

seeing what New Zealand's got to offer us from a leisure point of view,

0:32:320:32:35

the MacEwan family are voting for...

0:32:350:32:37

-ALL:

-New Zealand!

0:32:430:32:46

Yeah, New Zealand!

0:32:460:32:49

Really good, cos yesterday was a bit more like...don't really know,

0:32:490:32:52

from your perspective, as to whether you'd want to do it or not.

0:32:520:32:55

Yeah, I mean, you look straightaway at the weather and then coming out,

0:32:550:32:59

having fun, costing hardly any money for us all to have great fun,

0:32:590:33:03

and Cohen's not stuck in house playing Xbox,

0:33:030:33:06

he's actually out enjoying himself, which is great to see.

0:33:060:33:09

A full house for New Zealand is a real boost for Lindy,

0:33:130:33:16

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

0:33:160:33:19

Can they afford it?

0:33:190:33:21

The couple plan to rent out their home back in the UK

0:33:210:33:23

but think it would sell for around £105,000.

0:33:230:33:27

To see if they're right, we sent two estate agents round to find out.

0:33:270:33:31

Oh, no.

0:33:370:33:39

Nice fence.

0:33:390:33:40

Nice family lounge, spacious.

0:33:410:33:45

Look how tidy my house is.

0:33:450:33:47

Opening out into the dining area,

0:33:470:33:50

which...ideal for today's families.

0:33:500:33:55

Modern fitted kitchen, integrated appliances, excellent selling point.

0:33:550:33:59

Nice family bathroom upstairs.

0:34:010:34:03

You've also got the shower room downstairs,

0:34:030:34:05

which is a three-piece - completely ideal for today's busy families.

0:34:050:34:10

This is the big selling point of this property,

0:34:100:34:12

this is a fourth bedroom. This is what makes this property different

0:34:120:34:15

from the threes and the twos - is the fact you've got

0:34:150:34:18

this fantastic master bedroom. And with the built-in storage,

0:34:180:34:21

that gives you even additional space and really makes it a first-class

0:34:210:34:24

selling point for this property.

0:34:240:34:26

In today's market I'd value this property at £110,000,

0:34:260:34:30

and for a quick sale, I'd put on the market...offers over £105,000.

0:34:300:34:34

In today's market I'd be looking to put the property on at £110,000.

0:34:340:34:38

Working towards a quick sale, I'd be looking to market it at £105,000.

0:34:380:34:43

If the owners wanted to rent the property,

0:34:430:34:44

I would suggest a rental value of £650 per calendar month.

0:34:440:34:48

If the clients decided to rent the property out,

0:34:480:34:51

they can achieve between £575-£600 per calendar month.

0:34:510:34:56

That was all right, yeah.

0:34:580:34:59

The whole putting it on at 105, I was a bit like, "What?"

0:34:590:35:03

They said for quick sale, but we know the houses go quick

0:35:030:35:06

and four bedrooms in that area are like...

0:35:060:35:08

-Gold dust.

-Aye, so...

0:35:080:35:10

-No, I'm quite happy with that, actually.

-Yeah.

0:35:100:35:13

The valuations are good news, but will bills breach the budget?

0:35:150:35:19

Lindy and Steve compare the costs of living in New Zealand with the UK.

0:35:190:35:23

It's like treble the price.

0:35:230:35:26

Chicken breasts are slightly more expensive.

0:35:260:35:29

Everything's pretty much a bit more expensive.

0:35:290:35:32

So the weekly grocery bill is...

0:35:320:35:34

£142.84.

0:35:340:35:38

50 quid dearer.

0:35:380:35:40

I wouldn't grumble over an extra 50 quid a week.

0:35:400:35:43

But adding in the other household bills makes matters worse.

0:35:430:35:46

The difference on that would be...

0:35:470:35:49

..£714.21.

0:35:500:35:53

Over £700 per month worse off is significant, but what about incomes?

0:35:530:35:58

So there's obviously a big difference in mine,

0:35:580:36:01

but that's cos I'm starting at the bottom again.

0:36:010:36:03

But that wouldn't be like that for long. What you're kind of losing,

0:36:030:36:07

-I'm...

-Gaining.

-..making.

0:36:070:36:08

Steve's income does go down whilst Lindy's increases,

0:36:080:36:12

so where does that leave them overall?

0:36:120:36:15

£5,210.52 a year worse off in New Zealand.

0:36:150:36:22

And that's not taking into consideration flights to go home.

0:36:220:36:26

-Yeah.

-If we ever afford to move here, would we never,

0:36:270:36:30

ever go back to Scotland again, like?

0:36:300:36:32

It wouldn't be a yearly event, no.

0:36:320:36:34

It would be for Niamh.

0:36:340:36:35

But Steve's still looking on the bright side.

0:36:350:36:38

So, final thoughts, it doesn't look good on paper but that's because

0:36:380:36:41

I'm starting at the bottom of my wages again.

0:36:410:36:44

Within a year or two years, then I'd be better off by £8,000.

0:36:440:36:50

If I bring my business over here as well,

0:36:500:36:52

Big Stevie's Discos could be working in New Zealand and I could be

0:36:520:36:55

earning that to make up the difference anyway.

0:36:550:36:57

Steve and Lindy are doing their best to cast a favourable light

0:36:570:37:00

on a disappointing outcome.

0:37:000:37:03

It's vote time and things are far from clear that Lindy's dream

0:37:030:37:06

of a new life in New Zealand would be affordable.

0:37:060:37:09

-UK.

-Undecided.

0:37:130:37:15

UK? Never thought you'd do that!

0:37:170:37:20

Well, based on what it says on paper, we're going to be...

0:37:200:37:24

-Worse off.

-Which is bizarre,

0:37:250:37:26

given it's me that's like, "I want to move to New Zealand."

0:37:260:37:29

Time is running out for Steve and Lindy to make

0:37:290:37:31

one of the most important decisions their lives.

0:37:310:37:34

So, it's a first upset of the week and there could be plenty more,

0:37:390:37:43

because the MacEwans are settling down to watch messages

0:37:430:37:46

from loved ones back home. The children say they want to watch,

0:37:460:37:50

but almost immediately Lindy is upset.

0:37:500:37:53

And little Niamh finds it tough seeing her mummy cry.

0:37:540:37:57

-Hi, Steve, Lindy and kids.

-Hi, Stevie, hi, Lindy.

0:38:020:38:05

Hi, guys, I hope you're all having fun over there and it's everything

0:38:050:38:09

you thought it would be.

0:38:090:38:10

You couldn't probably match two better people.

0:38:100:38:13

Fantastic kids.

0:38:130:38:14

You know, full of life, full of fun, full of mischief as well.

0:38:140:38:18

They're like friends as well. They're quite close.

0:38:180:38:21

-Oh, yeah.

-They're like best friends kind of thing,

0:38:210:38:23

as well as being husband and wife.

0:38:230:38:25

Lindy's a very loving, caring person. Um...

0:38:250:38:29

She's a good daughter,

0:38:290:38:31

everything a mother could want.

0:38:310:38:33

She's always there when I need advice.

0:38:330:38:35

If I pop round, she'll make me a cup of coffee, a bit of cake.

0:38:350:38:38

He's as genuine as they come, what you see is what you get.

0:38:380:38:42

Just a big, lovely cuddly guy.

0:38:420:38:44

He would do anything to help you.

0:38:440:38:46

Well, there's Niamh. She's ten this year.

0:38:460:38:49

I've got a really good bond with her.

0:38:490:38:52

We do a lot of girlie stuff, like nails and, you know, chat,

0:38:520:38:56

snuggle up, and she's always trying to pinch my phone.

0:38:560:38:59

The kids are my life.

0:38:590:39:01

I look after them

0:39:010:39:03

and I've brought the two boys up so far and I'm going to get upset.

0:39:030:39:08

But I don't want them to go.

0:39:090:39:11

The minuses for them going is I'll need to get a new minibus driver

0:39:110:39:14

for a Friday night, but the pluses are we'll have four spare pies

0:39:140:39:17

on a Friday night!

0:39:170:39:19

STEVE LAUGHS

0:39:190:39:20

I'm used to her being round the corner. It won't be the same

0:39:220:39:26

if she's not here.

0:39:260:39:27

Oh, yeah, I'll be devastated if she goes, but, at the same time,

0:39:270:39:32

I want her to have a better lifestyle.

0:39:320:39:34

It's what they've always wanted to do.

0:39:350:39:37

I think the kids will adjust very easily to life in New Zealand

0:39:370:39:42

and, yeah, I just look forward to going over and visiting them,

0:39:420:39:46

to be honest.

0:39:460:39:47

I love you all, and if you decide to go to New Zealand,

0:39:470:39:51

I don't want you to worry about me.

0:39:510:39:53

I want you to do what's right for you and for the kids.

0:39:530:39:57

The family's faces say it all.

0:40:010:40:03

Those heartfelt messages are going to be hard to ignore.

0:40:030:40:06

At the start of their trial week,

0:40:080:40:10

Lindy's task was to convince husband Steve and family that moving

0:40:100:40:14

to New Zealand would give them a much longed-for fresh start.

0:40:140:40:19

Steve, however, needed to be convinced that the reality

0:40:190:40:22

matched Lindy's expectations, but after the week,

0:40:220:40:26

have the tables turned?

0:40:260:40:28

Is it now Steve who's pushing for the move, with Lindy having doubts?

0:40:280:40:33

It's time for the final vote.

0:40:330:40:36

As they pick up the cards, how are they going to spin?

0:40:360:40:39

Which would YOU plump for - bold New Zealand or bonnie Scotland?

0:40:390:40:44

Their time down under has opened Steve's eyes to the possibility

0:40:460:40:50

of life in New Zealand.

0:40:500:40:51

This trial week has been amazing. It's given us a good insight.

0:40:510:40:55

The week's gone down well with the children.

0:40:550:40:58

It's been really good, yeah.

0:40:580:41:00

I like it.

0:41:000:41:02

I like to go to the park and the zoo.

0:41:020:41:06

Then, of course, there's one thing they just can't ignore -

0:41:060:41:09

those they would leave behind.

0:41:090:41:11

I think the kids more reacted cos Lindy started crying

0:41:110:41:13

before it even started, so I think their expectation of it was going

0:41:130:41:17

to be worse than actually what it was.

0:41:170:41:20

The financial checks hit home hard too.

0:41:200:41:22

We're £5,000 a year better off in the UK,

0:41:230:41:25

but New Zealand is New Zealand and the UK is the UK -

0:41:250:41:28

they're two totally different countries.

0:41:280:41:31

The trial week could see the tables turning.

0:41:310:41:34

I can see the future here.

0:41:350:41:37

It's kind of like he's flipped towards the, "Yeah, we'll go to New Zealand."

0:41:370:41:40

And I'm kind of like, "Well, maybe we need to think about this a wee bit more."

0:41:400:41:44

As the final vote approaches...

0:41:440:41:46

I have been undecided on two and I have been with New Zealand with two.

0:41:460:41:50

I'm not too sure what I'm going to vote yet.

0:41:500:41:53

I don't know that I'm really sure myself at the moment, so...

0:41:530:41:56

Time for the family vote.

0:41:560:41:58

After a fantastic week in New Zealand, seeing a lot,

0:41:580:42:02

learning a lot, the MacEwan vote goes to...

0:42:020:42:06

-New Zealand.

-UK!

0:42:160:42:18

-Undecided.

-Undecided as well.

0:42:180:42:22

I think that we've still got loads to sort out and I think if I said

0:42:220:42:26

one or the other, I'd be committing myself already when I think

0:42:260:42:28

we still have to discuss.

0:42:280:42:30

Most of my family's back home, and like...

0:42:300:42:33

But New Zealand's a nice place, so I'm just undecided.

0:42:330:42:38

I still went with New Zealand, cos as much as everything

0:42:380:42:41

you're saying's right, I think we could still make it work.

0:42:410:42:45

At the end of the week their votes revert to type.

0:42:460:42:49

Steve remains unsure of a move,

0:42:490:42:52

Lindy believes they can make it.

0:42:520:42:55

There's going to be a lot of discussion on the long flight back to Scotland,

0:42:550:42:59

and whether the MacEwans make the trip to New Zealand once again

0:42:590:43:02

is anybody's guess at the moment, but whatever they decide to do,

0:43:020:43:07

wherever they choose to call home,

0:43:070:43:10

we wish, of course, Steve, Lindy and all the children the very best.

0:43:100:43:14

It has been her dream for years but recently Lindy MacEwan has made up her mind - it is time once and for all to decide if New Zealand really is the land of opportunity she has heard so much about. But it is not going to be easy to persuade her rugby mad husband number two Steve to make a move because he is more than content with his lot in Fife in Scotland.

Meet the MacEwans. It is second time around for both prison officer and part-time DJ Steve and community and clinical nurse Lindy. The two got together seven years ago when they split from their respective partners. They say opposites attract and in their case this is exactly the case. Steve is outgoing and sociable, while Lindy is much more family and home orientated. They might be chalk and cheese as a couple but for them, it works! And now with three young children of their own to add to Lindy's daughter from her first marriage, the MacEwans feel complete.

But not content - at least as far as Lindy is concerned. On the surface, all appears good but deep down Lindy is still reeling from the breakup of her first marriage and is desperate for a brand new fresh start, far away from Fife. She is convinced a move to New Zealand is the way forward and although he is not totally against the idea, Steve does have major reservations. And he is not the only one with doubts - leaving Scotland means separating eldest daughter Niamh from a dad she adores.

Their trial week helps the MacEwans experience the life they might be able to enjoy and afford in New Zealand, before they are asked to vote on one of the biggest decisions of their lives - to stay or come home.