Hi Carrington and many thanks for your warm Welcome!
Thanks for the link too. Geraldine seems ever more attractive in many ways. I am originally from Cornwall and yearn to return to a country life. My partner is from the Wirral. We moved to the Wirral from Cornwall in February 2000. This was due to the lack of employment and my redundancy back in Cornwall. It wasn't a happy move but borne out of necessity and I can honestly say neither of us are happy here and it isn't the nicest, safest place for our children either. The one thing that I am very wary of about countryside communities/villages/towns is the possible lack of employment opportunities...although I don't want to compare like for like in NZ, I know this could be an issue.
We would move to NZ asap but sadly it will take some time for me to formalise my plumbing and heating engineer qualifications here as I only embarked on securing these in September this year and sadly, the colleges don't have any 'fast track' courses for those with experience. It's all about pieces of paper these days. Oh how I wished I'd done it all years ago. I'm 50 now, so really sailing close the wind. I could apply now on the basis of my motorcycle engineering qualifications but I don't feel there is enough work in that field, even though they also mean I can work on boat engines and all terrain (ATV) small engine farm vehicles and the like. My partner is younger than myself and although a qualified Counsellor is looking to undertake a degree in nursing asap. Our 3 children are 13, 8 and 7. So it's all a bit complicated.
I sincerely hope things don't change too much over the next 4 years but one never knows. Going to live NZ has been a long term desire and we will continue to work towards that goal. If an opportunity arises to make it happen sooner, that will be a massive bonus.