Family proud to call NZ home
A group of 20 foreign nationals confirmed their commitment to New Zealand and became citizens at a Marlborough District Council ceremony on Friday.
Among those being granted New Zealand citizenship were Picton residents Paul and Lisa Suthers. The Britain-born couple arrived in Auckland eight years ago with two suitcases and a pregnant Lisa.
They spent the first months in the country touring, looking for a town which they could see themselves living.
"Everyone was saying to us to go to Nelson, so we took the ferry over, arrived in Picton and never left," Lisa said.
The couple found the beauty of the Marlborough Sounds captivating, they said.
The community was very quick to welcome them and make them "feel wanted". Their first son Gabe, 7, was born soon after they arrived in the town and Paul, who had worked in accountancy in his homeland, decided to become a stay-at-home dad while Lisa worked as a teacher.
She has since become the head of the literacy department at Queen Charlotte College. Their second son, Charlie, 5, was born two years later and since he began going to school Paul has also turned his attention to teaching, studying a teaching course through correspondence.
The family had returned once to the UK in 2014, but almost right away felt the urge to return to their new home in New Zealand. Just a month after their return the rental home they were in was nearly destroyed by a slip after heavy rain.
"We also arrived back on the day of the big Seddon earthquake in August and then the slip in November, so we really knew we were back in New Zealand," Lisa said.
However, the family remain unfazed and still regard their decision to return as the best they could have made.
The Marlborough Express