'You cannot live on beauty alone', NZ

Last updated 05:00 13/07/2014
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WONDEROUS SIGHTS: Although Kevin Norman appreciated the natural beauty of New Zealand, there were too many downsides to keep him and his partner here.

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Moving to New Zealand was a scratch that was waiting to be itched for a couple of decades.

I had previously worked in the Middle East and Europe so when the opportunity arose to move over for a job in New Plymouth we thought we would give it a go as both of our children had grown up and left home.

The most noticable thing during our first six months was just how Americanised everything is, even though New Zealand is still in the British Commonwealth.

Basic groceries were very expensive and in some instances poor quality.

Due to the low population we also found it difficult to buy certain goods in shops, especially if we wanted more than one. The shops would only keep a limited number and this would result in waiting weeks for them to turn up, if at all.

We did buy a very special house, one we wished we could have taken with us when we left and our neighbors are still very special friends who have come over the UK to visit.

People asked us why we left such a beautiful place and the simple answer to that is, you cannot live on beauty alone.

Even in the prime industries the wages do not compare to those in other countries, plus the diversity of work was not there to keep me interested.

Finally, the land of the long white cloud is simply too far and too expensive for most people to visit.

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