Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

The four sisters playing matchmaker for their mum

Four Kiwi sisters have banded together to help their mum find someone special to share her life with.

Aucklanders Ashleigh, Hannah, Georgia and UK-based Kellie Habgood have launched a dating website especially for their mother, 60-year-old Jan Habgood.

Dubbed The Sea, the website was launched a few days ago and features a video of the sisters, a photo of their mum and a description: "We are four sisters...from Auckland, New Zealand. We've set up this blog in an effort to help our mum find a man. Her name is Jan and she is awesome."

The site goes on to describe how the siblings feel about their want for their mother to find someone special: "Our parents separated 10 years ago and it's time we find our amazing mum a man. Whether it's fear, insecurity or pride, something is holding mum back from getting back into the scene. It is so frustrating to see someone so easy to love and so deserving of love, not believe it.''

Second eldest daughter Hannah Habgood told the Herald the website was something she and her sisters had come up with in the hopes of finding their mum a companion.

"My parents separated a long time ago. Mum has, in no way, asked us to do this for her. In fact, it was kind of a little bit like, 'Come on'.

"She's just so amazing and everyone who meets her just loves her. She has little moments where she says: 'Oh, maybe it would be quite nice to have someone'. But she's not looking to be looked after or to look after anyone. It's just someone to share some good times with."

Jan Habgood works as a teacher in Auckland. She is an ex-ski instructor and loves the outdoors and going on holidays; as well as relaxing at home and movie-nights in.

"She's very brave. She's just a really strong woman and she's always up for an adventure.''

Hannah said many people had contacted them praising them for their efforts to help their mother in a special way.

A lot of people had also confided about their own struggles to find a companion, while others had expressed their want to do something similar for their own loved one.

That feedback had encouraged the sisters to think about turning the site into a complete dating website for people to connect.

"Even in just talking about it and coming up with the idea, so many people have come up to me - sending me messages or just feedback face to face, saying: 'I want to do this for my mum or my aunty or uncle'. So it's out there and it's happening and there's heaps of people in mum's position.''

Hannah said there was an idea that a lot of older men continued to be able to find love easily by approaching younger women. But for many older women, finding love proved to be a much more difficult search - adding that New Zealand's perceived man drought did not help.

"I definitely think there is - in that kind of age. I know a lot of people in mum's position - my aunty, my mum's friends all feel that. I know for a fact that there's lovely guys out there, but it's just kind of hard to connect with them.''

- NZ Herald

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