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New family start

The outdoors lifestyle of New Zealand’s Coromandel proved the perfect choice for a family’s new start...

Phil Wilson, his wife Noleen and kids Faith, Levi and Mathew left County Omagh in Northern Ireland six months ago to start a new life in Thames, on the North Island of New Zealand and haven’t looked back since. An old historic mining town, Thames is on New Zealand’s picturesque Coromandel Peninsular, which is renowned for its pristine beaches and rainforest.

Noleen says: “We really love the laid back lifestyle here. We both get much more time to spend with the kids and because of the better climate we get to enjoy the outdoors more. “Back in Ireland we were often put off getting out and about because of the weather, but here we regularly go down to the beach or into the countryside, and in general, we’re all quite active.” The family decided to move to New Zealand for a number of reasons, primarily because they wanted to enjoy a better lifestyle and climate.

Noleen says: “We started thinking about emigrating a few years ago, because we wanted a change of pace and to experience living in a different country. “We were particularly interested in New Zealand, and after taking a six week tour of the country a few years ago we decided it was the place for us. We thought that the people were really friendly and the scenery was fantastic.”

The first thing Noleen and Phil did was get the advice of an emigration specialist. Noleen says: “Once we decided where we wanted to go and looked at the job opportunities there, we consulted The Emigration Group, whose advice proved invaluable.

“One of the hardest parts of the emigration process was collating the paperwork, but with the help of The Emigration Group, everything went smoothly. They took a lot of the stress out of the process and allowed us to concentrate on other issues, such as selling the properties we had in Ireland and looking at career opportunities in NZ.

“Within 12 months of applying we had our residency visa. We could have actually had it sooner but we delayed the process because we were trying to tie up loose ends back in Ireland.” With the visas through, the family left for Thames in New Zealand, where Noleen was offered a job as a dietician in the local hospital. she says: “Phil and I were actually considering living on the south Island and had invested in a vineyard there, however, with properties still to sell back in Ireland we weren’t at the stage to develop the vineyard, so I looked for a job as a dietician and one came up in Thames.” she says: “This proved to be a real help to us, because as part of the job they offered a relocation package, which really helped.”

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13th-14th October 2018