British families explore the idea of moving to Australia or New Zealand. A hectic pace of life has made the Mrengo family decide to give New Zealand a try.
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The Mrengo family has reached a crossroad in their life.
I worked evenings, so we didn't see each other at all
because, obviously, Mwakere came home, I went to work.
They feel New Zealand could offer the way ahead.
The children are at the right age,
so we want to find out now how that would work.
A trial week lets them see if the gamble could be worth it.
It's like our house would fit on the drive here.
-We've got apples. I love this garden.
But they'll be putting everything on the line.
I do worry sometimes that if it didn't actually happen the way
Jana's looking for it to happen, she'll come crashing down.
There is no plan B.
As one of the first places on Earth to see the sun each day,
New Zealand can bring a new dawn for those searching more from life.
Continually outranking other countries on measures of wellbeing,
it's no wonder New Zealand is seeing increased numbers of people calling it home.
The Mrengo family are proud to call Britain their home
ever since settling in the UK 18 years ago.
But the hectic pace of life has got them thinking about seeking a better
work-life balance in New Zealand.
Across one week, they'll get to see the sort of life they could lead
and afford if they relocated down under,
before voting on whether or not to make the move.
It's taken two flights and almost 23 hours in the air for the family to
get from Birmingham to New Zealand, but...
..as they touch down in Wellington for the first time,
they're in relatively fine form.
It was long but enjoyable.
Mwakere can hardly believe he's made it to the other side of the world.
We're finally here.
Getting on that plane was the first step.
It was awesome.
Although a near miss with the connecting flight meant
they almost didn't make it.
It's the quickest rearrangement we've done, in seven minutes,
to actually get yourselves sorted into another flight,
check in all your luggage and just run for the gate.
Getting there was actually the easy bit.
The week ahead will have to deliver if the dream down under is to become a reality.
Job is the main thing. If we want to make this move,
we have to find the perfect jobs for both of us.
I've heard so much about New Zealand and this is our opportunity
to actually look at it, explore.
Despite his concerns, Mwakere is raring to go.
I'm really excited. I know it doesn't show
because I'm jet-lagged, but I'm laughing on the inside.
I just can't wait to get started.
-Off we go.
Let's hope the positivity continues as the week ahead will decide
where the family's future lies once and for all.
We can't really hold hands, Tami, it doesn't work.
Meet the Mrengos.
They are dad Mwakere, mum Jana,
Samuel, aged eight, and Tamara, who's four.
They live in Birmingham in the West Midlands.
Mwakere, originally from Tanzania, and Jana, from the Czech Republic,
first came to Britain at the turn of the millennium.
Meeting each other certainly wasn't part of the plan.
Her mum thought that she was coming to the UK to spend some time, learn
English, and hopefully, within a few years, head back home.
But that didn't turn out to be the case
because I happened in her life and things changed.
All right, spread it gently.
They certainly changed.
The couple fell in love, got married,
and decided to settle down in the UK forever.
Well, that was the plan.
Yeah, we had a good life, we bought a house, our first house,
which we were so excited about.
Tami, your hands first.
We were very proud that we could achieve something like that,
obviously to buy a house in a country where neither of us had been born.
With the birth of their little boy,
their UK roots were strengthened even more.
But soon family life and Mwakere's ever-expanding commitments to a job
in IT were getting in the way of one another.
After we had Samuel and when I went back to work,
I worked evenings, so we didn't see each other at all.
The job that I started and where I am now four years later,
the job has grown.
I'm doing more...
..and I'm taking more work home.
And the more I take on those responsibilities,
they're drawing me further away from my family.
Eventually, it all came to a head in a moment he'll never forget.
So when Samuel tried to offer me his piggy bank and said that,
"Daddy, I know you're always very busy
"and I know that your phone always keeps ringing,"
and he said, "The sun is out, could we please go and play football?
"And whatever they're paying you at work,
"I can give you some money from my piggy bank."
..to just say that you reach a moment of silence
because it just hits home
in a very hard way that we're drifting apart.
So it's time for things to change,
and both see a new start down under as an answer.
Well, I've always dreamt about going to New Zealand or Australia.
I do think that New Zealand is very similar to the Czech Republic.
You get the snow, then you get the nice weather, you know?
It's very green, it's got the mountains, which I love.
And they've even got friends who've made the move before them.
They were all talking about it, how great it is to raise a family,
and he was just saying, "What are you waiting for? Just go for it."
He was, like, you know, "It's the best move we've done."
But it's what the country might offer their children that is really
motivating the couple's dreams of making the move.
You know, I would love them to have a childhood like I had.
Every weekend we went up to the cottage in the mountains,
we were camping every summer for several weeks, and just the freedom.
The children are at the right age, so we want to find out now how that would work.
We want to make these changes
that we feel will bring us together.
And what are they going to miss most?
The hardest thing to leave behind
are the people in our lives currently.
We have both come from different places.
We've lived a majority of our life here with some incredible people.
I'm going to, in a way, miss more my family as well
because I know we're not going to be able to
see them every year like we do now.
And a good curry.
Because we do live in Birmingham,
so you do get the best curry from the UK here.
In the end, both Jana and Mwakere know that they are throwing
everything on the line with their New Zealand dream.
I feel scared going to New Zealand.
I feel excited.
..by far the biggest thing I've ever done.
For us, it is definitely a one-way ticket.
There is no plan B.
The Mrengos are spending their trial week on the Kapiti Coast,
on the lower part of New Zealand's North Island.
Home for the next seven days is a beach-side bungalow
and I think they like what they see.
Oh, wow, look at that.
Look at the view. Who needs a TV when you can look at that?
As they step outside, it's a thumbs-up for the location.
Oh, gosh, you can hear it.
WATER SLOSHES, BIRDS CHIRP
It's just beautiful.
We can just move in then.
Back indoors, Tami seems slightly confused about the sleeping arrangements.
A wooden bed!
Samuel's happy with what he's seen so far.
So you wouldn't even mind sharing a bedroom with your sister?
-Oh, wow, that must be a special house then, hey?
And Jana's already feeling at home.
We were driving from the airport here,
which reminded me of being back in the Czech Republic.
The mountains and just the forests.
First thought is just, like, wow.
I can stay here.
Back in the UK, the Mrengos live in the village of Acocks Green,
near Birmingham, in a two-bedroom end terrace house.
With two growing children, it's become, well, cosy to say the least.
So number one priority on their property search in New Zealand is space.
Three bedrooms, definitely,
because the kids are desperate to have their own bedrooms.
OK. But what about Mum and Dad?
I'd like to live somewhere in a nice suburb, probably.
Preferably by the beach.
I would love a beach house.
Well, wouldn't we all?
I think crucially, for me, is to have, like, a little study
or man cave where I can just hide at times.
I'd love one too, thank you!
-Somewhere I can hide!
-Me too, please.
Finally, how about those little luxuries
we often see on Wanted Down Under?
I don't actually care much about walk-in wardrobes and those things
because it is more cleaning.
The couple plan to rent initially in New Zealand
and have set themselves a budget of £1,200 per calendar month.
Today, we'll show the family three properties -
two close to this budget
and one which could be their ideal family home.
First stop is Raumati South, just 30 miles north-west of Wellington.
Close to the beach, with great schools,
playgrounds and a thriving community feel,
this area should be just what the Mrengos are looking for.
What will the first impressions be of this four-bedroom two-bathroom family home?
Look how massive this is.
It's like our house would fit on the drive here.
It's a far cry from their two-bedroom semi back
in Acocks Green, near Birmingham.
-Quite a big space.
-It is, isn't it?
A lot bigger than our lounge right now. It's really good.
This spacious living room leads into the kitchen,
which also gets the thumbs up.
I like the kitchen, since I'm the only one cooking really.
Maybe you will start cooking now.
-I already do.
While Mum and Dad chew the fat over the kitchen chores,
Tamara stakes a claim upstairs.
Look, Tami, that could be your room.
-My own bedroom.
-Your own bedroom.
You could fit your doll's house and your kitchen as well.
That's Tami sorted.
This house has impressed so far.
And in the main bedroom, Tami's blown away by one particular feature.
Oh, that's definitely my room.
-You've got a toilet in here.
-We've got a toilet.
-How funny is that?
-Why do you need a toilet here?
-We've never had an en-suite.
-We're going to have
our own shower on our own.
-But the built in wardrobe could leave Mum short-changed.
-Oh, look at that.
-Oh, my goodness me. No, don't say look at that.
Your clothes are not going to fit. Dad's got about 50 pairs of shoes.
But it's not the space Mwakere's worried about, it's the doors.
Well, I know you'll spend your time in there,
but what if I actually whack you with that door?
-That's what I'm saying.
-We could just put a bell there so we can hear you.
A bell in the bedroom?
Yeah, you know, like sheep have around their neck.
Every time you open the door you can hear, "Ping-ping."
Are you sure you had breakfast this morning?
You might have to come up with a better plan, Jana.
With a fourth bedroom and a good-sized family bathroom,
this house has loads of space for the family and visitors.
And the outside is the icing on the cake.
Look at this garden. Apples!
-We've got apples!
I love this garden.
It's now time for Mum and Dad to find out if this house is somewhere they
could afford to call home.
Their budget, £1,200 a month.
Seeing the size of the house and, you know, four bedrooms,
I think it's going to be over.
Yeah, so I think there's only one way to find out.
OK. Let's go and see.
Oh, actually, it's not bad, £1,050 per month.
So that's not bad for how big the house is.
-At nearly £150 below budget Mwakere's got just one question.
I mean, if you can get £1,000 for a property like this,
I just can't wait to see what the other two are like.
With things off to such a promising start,
it's time to move on to the next property.
It's in Paraparaumu,
a large beach-side village boasting plenty of family-friendly amenities.
This four-bedroom family home is just a stone's throw from the shore,
but will it impress as much as the first property?
Driving the way up here, you could just see yourself living here.
-I like it.
-I like the area.
-I like it.
-Yeah, I can't wait to... Shall we go and have a look inside?
Well, one thing's definitely caught Jana's eye straightaway.
It's got carpet!
-Would you like to lie on it as well?!
The kitchen diner, meanwhile, is to both their tastes.
It really opens up, doesn't it?
This one is much more modern, isn't it?
You've got a big window there, you've got a big window over there.
You could pretty much just move in here.
This must be so much more expensive.
Can the bedrooms continue to wow?
Oh, wow! Oh, I love this actually.
I don't like it, I love this one!
Finding good sized rooms for all the family is a big priority for the Mrengos,
and this house is certainly delivering, even topping property one.
I think this is more us, isn't it, the house?
It's nice and modern.
And it seems we've also found where Jana might keep her clothes.
Oh! So that's where the lady's got her clothes, then.
There we go! The man's got the wardrobe in the master bedroom.
And the lady has to have it here.
I think it's genius myself!
If anything, this house has space to spare.
I can see my brother already booking flights to come here with his family!
As long as they show us the return tickets, we'll be cool.
-We'll be cool.
-Never mind the relatives!
Well, the inside has been a big hit.
What about the outside?
-Let's have a look.
-Let's have a look at this garden.
Oh, that's nice, the sitting area here.
That's lovely. There's not a lot of space to kick a ball, though.
Oh, I don't know, but this is definitely garden space.
Well, it is, but it's not very child-friendly garden.
-It's a bit disappointing, the garden,
because the house is absolutely beautiful inside, you know,
it's got all the space we want.
-Yeah, it's quite a shame, because I quite like this house.
It wouldn't be a house to buy, but for the rent,
I wouldn't disregard this house.
Something of a split, then.
Could they afford it anyway?
I think based on the house that we have seen prior and how much that cost,
probably £1,500 per month on this one.
I was going to say about 1,400.
Are you ready to turn it round?
Go on, then! Let's see what it is.
Let's put us out of the misery!
£1,175 per month.
The price actually compensates for the garden, isn't it?
-I think it does.
-Yeah. I think we could...
We could do it.
This property is almost perfect for the Mrengos,
and there is still one house to go.
For the final stop of the day, it is back to Raumati South.
The weather's taken a dip, but spirits are still running high.
Let's hope this spacious four-bedroom family home can keep it that way.
Wow, how expensive is that?!
Just looking at the size of this...
I can just see Tamara in her princess dress over there in that bit.
If the last property offered a modern form of living,
it's clear that this one is...
It's like the entrance to a church, isn't it?
It's got a very different feel to it.
You feel posh living here.
Well, I feel posh just standing here!
Look at us!
I hope you've wiped your feet, then!
Because the kitchen-diner is just as posh.
It is very overwhelming.
It's even got a turret!
Makes me want to put a princess dress on!
You'll struggle to get one! And then again, if you could afford this house...
-If you could afford this house, then...
What do you mean, I'll struggle to get one?
-You're not borrowing Tamara's.
They do adult sizes, thank you very much!
Oh, you've put your foot in it there, Mwakere!
It seems this house is perfect, but maybe too perfect.
It's too big.
I just think, for the four of us, this house,
you would lose the kids in parts of this house I haven't even seen yet.
Time to check out the upstairs main bedroom.
Definitely the best part of the house.
The views are beautiful.
You can't, you know, argue with the views.
I think it's a marvellous house to the right family.
If it was for £1,200 per month, I would move in tomorrow.
Well, that's one view, but...
Even if price wasn't an issue in this house, I just feel...
..I haven't connected with this house.
We are trying to get closer as a family, and I feel in this house,
you'll find everybody's in their favourite corner or doing something.
You'll kind of lose yourselves in here.
I guess it's better we see if it's worth arguing over.
Here we go again. So, what do you think?
I think it's going to be 3,000 at least.
Probably at the £2,000 mark.
So, are you going to turn it?
Yeah. Let's have a look.
Are you ready?
Seriously?! It's £1,250 per month!
I heard you saying earlier if it was around £1,000, you would move in.
I think you'd better start packing your bags, then.
I'd better buy myself a princess dress!
The day's house-hunting has been an eye-opener for the Mrengos.
The first house immediately impressed.
Loads of living space, room for the children,
an en-suite that tickled Tamara's fancy
and everything was rosy in the garden, too.
The second house had all the space and modern styling
Mwakere and Jana longed for,
and with carpet throughout.
The positives kept piling up
until the impractical garden clipped their enthusiasm.
The final house was fit for a princess,
but the scale of it overawed the couple.
However, with the unexpected low rental,
could this castle become their family home?
So when it comes to homes down under,
will the couple vote for the UK or New Zealand?
Pleasantly surprised by what we can actually, um,
find ourselves living in here in New Zealand.
Our property vote goes to...
I voted for New Zealand because I was pleasantly surprised,
as you said today, what we can actually afford on our budget.
We can actually get to do a lot more things
than we're currently doing in the UK.
A unanimous vote for New Zealand is a step
in the right direction for the couple's dream of a better life.
But if it's to become a reality, they will need to secure employment.
Back in the UK, Mwakere works in IT,
but family life is fast becoming the victim of his own success.
Things need to be different.
I love my job and I love what I do, but I love my family more.
Jana, meanwhile, is looking for a complete change
from her job in finance.
Before I came to the UK, I worked with children,
and that's something I would like to continue doing.
It's a direction she's already started moving in.
For the past five years,
I've been teaching in Sunday School in our church.
All of which puts more pressure on Mwakere.
I do worry sometimes that if it didn't actually happen
the way Jana is looking for it to happen, she'll come crashing down.
Before classes for the day start,
Jana is dropping in at Raumati Beach School.
She meets principal Mike Farrelly to find out more about her dream of working with children.
-Welcome, come inside.
Now the kids are a bit older,
I'd like to go back into working with children,
because that's something I used to do in the Czech Republic,
so I worked with children with special needs.
I think I would like to start from the bottom as
a teaching assistant and hopefully, you know, progress if I could.
Clearly, Jana has plans, but for now,
she needs to find out about the first steps
to becoming a teaching assistant in New Zealand.
We tend to call them teacher aides over here.
They don't necessarily have been through and done
education courses or courses in child development,
so that is not a prerequisite in New Zealand,
to have those qualifications.
-It all sounds relatively straightforward, then.
But working in finance, Jana knows that supply usually meets demand.
Are there any jobs in this area?
-Is there a need?
-There are always jobs, that's for sure,
because, you know, um, we've employed...
..two, two new teacher aides this year.
So what would the wage packet look like?
A teaching assistant's salary is paid in two ways.
It's either paid on an hourly rate,
or if you're working full-time at a school, it is paid on a salary.
So your hourly rate is anything from around about £8 to about
£13 per hour, and the salary is around 18
to a maximum around £35,000.
Well, that sounds really great, salary wise.
That's very good.
-Thank you very much.
Well, that certainly is worth getting up early for.
But it sounds like the family will still need a main wage earner,
so across town, Mwakere is visiting a Wellington recruitment agency.
And he's excited about the prospect.
He meets with senior consultant Georgia Hinds inside their rather fancy offices,
and straightaway gets down to brass tacks.
So, coming from the UK, how easy is it for me to secure a role here?
So, some companies are a bit reluctant to hire people if they have to
sponsor them, but if you've secured visa upfront and you're allowed to
work in New Zealand, then there should be no issues with getting you a position.
Generally, it would be depending on
whether you are in New Zealand or not at the time.
It could be anywhere from 2-6 weeks.
Encouraging news about job opportunities.
But what about the salary?
At the moment, Mwakere earns around £28,000 in the UK.
Well, you've got ten years of experience in IT,
and you do show that you've got loyalty and that you're steady in your roles,
so it would probably be between 80 and 90,000 New Zealand dollars,
which would probably be about £45-50,000.
That is great news.
It definitely is.
I think he's lost for words, you know!
-It is an increase!
-It's a lot more, yeah, than what I earn back in the UK.
It's not just about the money, though.
So I want to know how the work-life balance here
would work if I want to make the move.
In New Zealand, most companies are very,
very keen to keep that work-life balance.
We are a nation here where we realise that you can't work people to the
bone and get the best out of them all the time,
so companies are very aware of that.
It's been a short but very sweet meeting.
-Here's my card.
-Thank you very much.
And he may even have made a contact there.
At the end of a busy work day, the couple meet up to compare notes.
So, how was your day?
Well, mine was very good, but how was yours?
Had a lovely time, and had a really good review.
Did they give you any indication of a salary?
Yeah, based on my skills and experience, that we went through,
they will be able to secure me a role for about £44-50,000.
Oh, that's good. That's going to be more than what you are on,
-isn't it, in pounds?
-Yeah, it's almost double
-what I'm on right now just myself.
They offered you a job? It's been positive for both of us, hasn't it,
so you know, I can change my career, get back to working with kids,
what I really enjoy.
Brilliant! We can move!
I guess all we need to do now is vote.
After spending the day and looking at job opportunities
for us in New Zealand, our vote goes to...
It was always going to be New Zealand.
So, yeah, I'm looking forward to, uh, hopefully relocating.
So far, it looks like plan A is working out pretty well for Jana and Mwakere Mrengo.
But as they enter the second half of their trial week,
will Wellington continue to live up to their dreams,
or are the dark clouds of reality getting ready to descend?
The Mrengos are spending the day at the world leading conservation park
Zealandia, a stunning forest and lifestyle sanctuary,
which is home to some of nature's most extraordinary animals.
Despite the weather,
the family is determined not to let it rain on their parade.
I can't jump with my feet up...
-It's jumping height.
-No, look, look.
Back home on a rainy day we would have a duvet day, just stay inside,
put the heating on and watch a movie.
-There he is!
-And today's film is...
Oh! Tami, come here.
-There's a lizard.
That is a tuatara!
-Oh, gosh, yes!
-Let me see, Daddy.
There, we've found one.
This has been a rare chance to spend some quality family time together.
A fact that's not lost on either Mum or Dad.
The best part of today is being together as a family.
It's been actually really nice for Mwakere's phone
not to be ringing every five minutes.
Back at home, doing stuff like this takes time, and yes,
while you always try to do them as much as you can,
but when you're caught in the rat race of working every day,
weekends seem more for recovery times rather than family times.
But halfway through the week, thoughts are turning to home.
If we are going to do this, we are going to leave people behind.
But you only get to live once, and when you have a family,
they come first, then everybody else second.
Well, I do miss our friends,
but as hard as it will be to leave friends behind,
it's actually not that hard to make new friends here
because people in New Zealand are very friendly.
It's fair to say that Jana's mind at this point seems pretty made up.
I haven't got a plan B.
I haven't had one in the UK, and that hasn't changed.
I now hope that for the rest of my family choose this way,
come to New Zealand and enjoy the life.
It's time to vote.
After a day's looking around at the sites of New Zealand,
today's vote goes to...
To just have the energy to go around and do stuff like this without thinking,
"Oh, no, do I have to check that phone again and see what's going on?"
I thought the weather's not going to let me, you know, down,
so we still had a great day, so that's why I voted for New Zealand.
You get to do and experience more stuff,
so it always has to be New Zealand for me.
So far, their time in New Zealand has assured the couple the country
could give them the lifestyle they are longing for.
But for the dream to become a reality, the books will have to balance.
And getting the right price for their home in the UK could be crucial.
Two local estate agents gave evaluations.
We're going to have a look.
Here we go.
Oh, look, it's nice and sunny as well.
So, here we have the kitchen. It's quite a compact space. At the end of the day, it's a compact house.
The dining table that won't fit into the living room does fit in the kitchen.
It's been well maintained, it's been refitted, clearly, since the house was built.
You know, it's typical of all the sorts of houses in this area.
It's a great little room.
And here we are in the living room.
It's a typical lounge area for a property of this size and type.
The owners of the property have created a great home entertainment console there
with room for a widescreen television.
We've got super patio windows leading out onto the garden.
Stairway up to the first-floor landing.
So this is the master bedroom. Really nice space.
Plenty of space for your bed,
and a really nice feature is this extra fitted wardrobe.
Lots of storage space here.
You don't get that in lots of smaller houses.
I really like this room.
In today's market, I'd value this house at £165,000.
If we needed to achieve a quick sale,
I'd be putting it on the market for £160,000.
Should they decide they wanted to rent it,
the guide price for rental would be about 650- £675 per calendar month.
In the current market,
I would suggest listing this property for £165,000,
and consider accepting offers of £160,000 for a quick sale.
However, if the vendors decided to rent the property out instead,
a rental income of between 650 and £700 per calendar month
should be achievable.
They actually said the same.
Quite pleased with the valuations that they've done.
I'm surprised about the rental.
The valuation is pretty much what we thought it will be.
-Which is really good.
-It was all good.
It's an encouraging start, but how would the Mrengos'
cost of living down under compare with the UK?
To find out, we've provided a comparison of costs between the two countries.
And the weekly grocery shop provides some "pleasant" surprises.
Pepperoni salami, it's much more expensive, like a double.
Fresh chicken, oh, that's a big difference.
But some things are, like, really extra, you know?
When they add it up, the weekly shopping bill
in New Zealand works out higher than in the UK.
-It's quite a lot, though, isn't it?
-Per month, yeah.
And their calculations for rent and other costs come out higher, too.
In New Zealand,
we will be paying £548.30 more
every month on the bigger bills.
Ah, we expected a bit of a rise.
It's obviously more, but we'll see what the rest of the figures are like, then.
While the costs are mounting up,
Mwakere and Jana have been told they can expect to earn more in New Zealand
than in the UK. So how could this leave the figures overall?
And that means we are this much better off in New Zealand every...
That's a lot of money.
Really incredible. It's a really big figure,
so I'm very pleased with that.
No prizes for guessing how this vote's going to go.
-No-brainer, isn't it, you know?
We've seen the figures, and we'd be much better off
in New Zealand than we are currently in the UK.
An easy vote, really.
Yeah. I agree with you.
I mean, based on what we've actually seen and done,
I think our lives will be much better off living in New Zealand.
As the positives continue to add up,
messages from home remind the family just how difficult a move could be.
-Shall we have a look?
Hi, Mwakere and Jana, Samuel and Tamara.
We hope you're having a fantastic time in New Zealand.
Hi, guys. Hope you're having a great time.
They are so lovely, hospitable, they do anything for anyone.
They're just wonderful. They're ever so caring.
They'll always be there for you, and they are just wonderful friends.
I just clicked with Jana the minute I met her.
She's like a sister in a way.
Really close friend.
Samuel and Tamara are such lovely children.
They're very well brought up.
They're lovely to be around.
They're both really, um,
caring and whenever you are feeling sad, they will be there for you.
There's an itchy feet issue here.
They both travelled a long way to come to this part of the world,
and they both, over the years, have shown interest in moving on.
I would be very, very sad, but I could see it happening.
They are so ready to go out and get life in a different way
that they have maybe not been able to in the UK that they'll just soar.
Honestly, I'll be really sad if they go.
I think the biggest thing that really we'll miss is their readiness
to be available at times when things are going not so well,
and they contribute to our family so much.
They're so encouraging to others and helpful, and you know,
we will miss them incredibly, won't we?
It'll be devastating.
And we know they'll be there at the end of Skype or the phone,
but actually just the proximity of them,
knowing they're not just round the corner.
We really love you
and we will miss you.
We want the very best for you in life, and we just say,
God's blessings all the way.
And I know in your hearts,
you'll know what's right for you and for the kids as well.
We will miss you if you do decide to go.
So you'd better get a house that's got enough room
for us to come and land on you for a holiday!
And we'll come see you as soon as we can, and we'll be praying for you.
Samuel and Tamara have been such great friends, and...
but we just hope you get what's right for you.
You know, they're all being very supporting.
I hope they all know how much we value their friendship
and how much they mean to us.
At the start of the week, the Mrengos said there was
no plan B if their trial week in New Zealand didn't
live up to expectations.
So as they approach the final vote, how did plan A go?
It may not have delivered on sunshine,
but the trial week hasn't cast any clouds on
Jana's hopes of a fresh start in New Zealand.
It is still the dream.
Yes, I know I've been a bit with the weather and everything,
but like with everything, you have to look at the bigger picture.
Messages from home, however, did provide some serious food for thought.
These are people that we have known for many years,
that we have gone through stuff with many years.
But after you've seen it, you're just like,
do you really want to leave that behind?
Because you've got such tight friendships there.
Friendships are important to the Mrengos,
and they have been impressed with the welcome they've received in New Zealand.
Whether you went to the beach, people just greet you,
whether you're out and about, people say hi,
and it's not that they don't do that in the UK,
but people say it meaningfully.
It's sort of made it a bit more reassuring that moving on the other side
of the world, yes, you lose your friends you have back in the UK,
but it might not be as hard to make and meet new people.
So at the final turn of the cards,
it's time for the family to decide where they'll spend the rest of their lives.
It's definitely not an easy decision to make, obviously,
to decide where do you want to settle.
There's no denying that things have been working out,
but there's still a bit more things to do,
so we're just going to have to see.
And I'm hoping that Jana and I are on the same page when it comes to that.
All that remains is to vote.
Will it be heart over head?
Our final vote for where we would like to live goes to...
Well... Almost unanimous.
For me, it was always going to be New Zealand.
It was all very positive, and we will be better off here.
I think it's convinced me that, definitely, New Zealand
is the place to come and live, so it's just time, really,
to see how we can make this move a reality.
Although it was anything but sunny during their trial week,
it seems the warmth of the welcome the Mrengos received in New Zealand
was enough to convince Jana and Mwakere
that another huge life move could be worth making.
All they have to do now is convince little Samuel, and who knows?
The next time we catch up with the family,
they could be fully-fledged Kiwis.
We wish them all the best for the future.
The Mrengo family are proud to call Britain their home since settling in Birmingham 18 years ago. Recently they feel they have reached something of a crossroads in their lives. Their hectic pace of living has made them think they need a better work-life balance if they are to have any quality family life with each other and their two young children.
Mwakere Mrengo is originally from Tanzania and works in IT. He met Jana from the Czech Republic at the turn of the millennium. Meeting each other wasn't part of either's life plan but they fell in love, got married and decided to settle in the UK. They bought a house and when Samuel, followed by Tamara, were born, their UK roots were strengthened even more.
Soon Mwakere's ever-expanding commitments to his job were getting in the way of having any time with his young family. When his small son Samuel offered him the contents of his piggy bank to 'buy' some time with his dad, Mwakere knew things simply had to change.
They have friends who recently moved to New Zealand, and Mwakere is envious of what he hears from them about their work-life balance. He wants to see if it could work for his family. Across one week, they see the sort of life they could lead, and afford, if they were to move to New Zealand.