Taranaki's attractive lifestyle has proven too difficult to resist for an artistic Auckland couple.
Anna Korver and Steve Molloy moved to the province a week ago, after falling in love with it during the past two Te Kupenga International Stone Sculpture Symposiums they attended.
Compared with the fast-paced, high-cost living of Auckland, Molloy said Taranaki's relaxed and easy-going lifestyle was too appealing in the end.
"We weighed everything up and just thought it would be a good move for our lifestyle and our careers," he said.
"I've been itching to get back in the water surfing, and I enjoy hunting and tramping and all that. Anna loves the water too and enjoys her sailing, so it's a perfect place for us."
Both are from the South Island, and have been in Auckland for the past eight years – Korver a full-time sculptor, and Molloy, an established photographer.
The couple have joined Te Kupenga Stone Club at Paritutu, where Korver will also take tutorials in stone sculpting.
Korver said joining the club and meeting people through their attendance at the biennial symposiums had made the move a lot easier.
"It's a very creative place and there's a lot of creative people who are very open and welcoming."
While at the symposium they met Taranaki artist John McLean, and they are staying with him until they find a place of their own.
"It's quite hard to find a place when you do what we do. We work with chainsaws and all sorts and no one wants to live next to that," Korver said. "Gone are the days of hand tools."
The nature of their jobs also made the move a difficult one, Korver said.
"It was a big move to make from Auckland. Being sculptors, we ended up having to move about 12 tonnes of stuff. So we don't want to be going anywhere else in a hurry."
Molloy said the Te Kupenga symposium was definitely the best in New Zealand, and they had done extremely well at the event.
"The sales that are made here far outweigh any other one in the country."
While the change in lifestyle had the most pull for the couple, Molloy said attending Womad sealed the deal for them in the end.
"For us this area just seems to have everything, and it's all in such a close proximity.
"It's nice to be in the 'Naki – finally," Molloy said.
- Taranaki Daily News
Is high tea at a funeral parlour your cup of tea?Related story: High tea... in a funeral parlour