Hi everyone,

Haven't been on the site for a while but said I would update you when we had moved here so here goes.

We have all settled very well in Gisborne so far. OH loves his job and I am getting used to being a housewife We have moved into a rented house which is pretty 1950's but that's perfectly normal here - the good points are we have amazing views, a 300m walk to the most fantastic beach, my boy can cycle to school, we have a good size garden and we were lucky to get a large rental in this area anyway! We are living outside Gisborne in Wainui which has a wonderful beach, but then so does Gisborne and most of the coast around this area. It is staggeringly gorgeous and the climate is much better than the figures suggest - the summer is very HOT here - they take the figures at the airport on the coast so the sea breeze makes it seem cooler but it is warm, andyou have all the plants that go with that like palm trees etc.

The school is wonderful - can't say enough good things about it compared to the primary school he was at in the UK - only 15 children in his class, most activities are FUN and outdoors if they can be and he is learning at last.... Both kids will definitely have the life we wanted for them here - outdoors, physical and more freedom with more time with their parents. Every weekend we can be on the beach even if it's only for a an hour or so and when the weather isn't good we can go the hot springs or hunt for crabs in the rock pools etc etc. It's not cold when it does rain so what the heck!

I have encountered nothing but friendliness from all the kiwis I have met - most people have been amazingly helpful and I have even borrowed stuff for the house which didn't turn up in the container - another story! - from people I had only met a few times. There is a thing here called Playcentre for pre-school children which Iwould recommend - it's run by parents so there's a great level of commitment and I've met some really nice people through that. Wainui is a great place to live - whether we stay here when we want to buy or build is a different matter - it's pricey and we are "country folk" who would love a few acres at home so we may be heading for the foothills when we've done our bit of beach life but even so we'll only be a five minute drive from the beach. If anyone is worried about housing - Wainui has EVERY type/size of house you can imagine and there are some incredible new houses here - stunning, architecturally designed gorgeous places - also some tiny little cottages etc. From what I have seen if you buy a newish house or build you won't have any worries. The worst thing we will face in this house is probably a bit of damp - a dehumidifier should help but hey, if that's your biggest worry....

Actually, it's not - since we arrived one of our parents has fallen ill in the UK which is our worst case scenario and very difficult to deal with but we are glad to be here anyway.

We have had a few problems with the shippers - all I would say is, ifyou have a container plus some going groupage then absolutely INSIST that they allow you to say what goes in the container and what doesn't - we asked to prioritise and were told that groupage would be on the same ship and there a few days after the container - nuts, it was still in the UK two weeks ago and with it our bed, kitchen table and chairs, all cutlery, pots andpans, kettle, iron the list goes on..... However, these are minor worries in the big scheme.

All I would say is that if you are a person who loves modern things, can't live without their dishwasher, all the mod cons etc then you will be ok as long as you can afford those things but they are not necessarily the norm here. That doesn't bother us in theleast - we have bought a TV but haven't really watched it very much - better things to do.

We are very pleased that we have made this move - it's not without it's difficulties and family and friends clearly are the main issues. What we were hoping for is here and we can all enjoy the things that we would like to.

I hope this helps

Helga