I moved from the UK eleven years ago and became a Kiwi citizen three years later. I have just looked at the last couple of posts I have written for midwives who are interested in moving here, and I have to say that they do sound rather negative. So here are some of the reasons why I love living in Dunedin, New Zealand.
1. Dunedin is the most beautiful place. We have wonderful scenery and wildlife right on our door step. The weather is crap a lot of the time, but on a sunny day there is no better place to live in the world.
2. Its a great place to bring up children. I do not think that there is the commercialization or materialism here as there are in other cities/countries. My kids just do not have the expectations for material things as their peers in the UK - mind you, that could be because we're always broke and they know there's no point in having any sort of expectation!
3. There is not the population and congestion of other cities. Our idea of a traffic queue is a pile up of five cars at the roundabout.
4. Property is affordable....just.
5. We are a long way away from terrorist threats, although we have been feeling some off-shore earth quakes lately.
6. Despite all my moans and groans, the maternity system is brilliant for midwives who want to practice total midwifery care, be self-employed and carry out home birth.
We do have our problems such as high youth suicide, domestic violence and prison incarceration rates. However, as a family we feel very safe here and after a considerable amount of time, we are settled and feel proud to call ourselves Kiwis - except when New Zealand is playing England at any kind of sport and then we are steadfast Poms!
Image: 'Along the Knife Edge' Andrew Baird