Bay becomes subject of British reality TV show

By Allison Hess

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IN THE LIMELIGHT: UK family Angus and Jo with children Arabella, 4, and Freddie, 7, were exploring Tauranga for a BBC reality TV show. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN
IN THE LIMELIGHT: UK family Angus and Jo with children Arabella, 4, and Freddie, 7, were exploring Tauranga for a BBC reality TV show. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN

The Bay of Plenty is set to appear on international screens.

The BBC was in Tauranga yesterday filming for the series Wanted Down Under, where British families look into immigrating to New Zealand.

The Goodson family was shown around three residential properties by a Bayleys real estate agent, before taking time to explore the local employment market, schooling, social and recreational activities to get a picture of what life in the Bay would be like.

Parents Angus and Jo, with children Freddie, 7, and Arabella, 4, had been "hassled" by friends who moved to Tauranga three years ago, now living in Pyes Pa.

"We've received regular emails telling us how amazing it is and how we have to come here," Mrs Goodson said.

"It's really beautiful. We had been really focused on the beach and how lovely it is down in Tauranga but as you drive out you think, gosh this country has so much more to offer than a beach."

They said New Zealand appealed to them because it had the same values they did, "family, outdoors, exercise".

"There are kids running around barefoot here. I want my kids to have that," Mr Goodson said.

In their village near Oxford their backyard was small, but to buy a house in Oxford with a bigger garden would cost 1.5 million ($3.15 million).

"The weather is better here, it's more spacious. It's a bit cramped ... in England," Mrs Goodson said.

The children had yet to make up their minds about New Zealand, but it looked promising.

"We had the World Cup in the summer so Freddie was watching all the games, so he kind of associates New Zealand with the All Blacks - and the All Blacks are very cool to him so he's very excited about coming to their home."

Since arriving in New Zealand on Sunday, it had been a whirlwind of filming the show. Shown around by Craig Orr from Bayleys real estate, the Goodsons had seen three properties - in Katikati, Mount Maunganui and Lower Kaimai.

Being followed around by a camera was "odd" for the family and was something that took a while to get used to.

There are kids running around barefoot here. I want my kids to have that.
Angus Goodson

"It was like being a rock star, being filmed coming off the plane at Tauranga airport and everyone looking at us thinking 'who are they' when we're just nobody," said Mr Goodson.

The show was expected to air in the UK in January, and would give the Bay and New Zealand a burst of international exposure to a television audience of millions.

Tourism Bay of Plenty assistant marketing and communications manager Abby Parkin said the exposure was "absolutely valuable".

"The UK is our second largest international market behind Australia, equalling 18.1 per cent of total international spend in the coastal Bay of Plenty region.

"Even in cases where tourism is not the primary focus, TV shows such as the BBC's Wanted Down Under present great opportunities to showcase our region as a vibrant tourism destination."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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