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With just over five weeks of their six-month stay in Napier to go, the "Win A Life" Pearse family from Reading in England have already made up their minds where they'll be after June 11.

"We're staying," Simon Pearse said, as he described how the Hawke's Bay lifestyle had turned out to be everything he, his wife Chrissie, and sons Zac and Wesley, had hoped it would be.

To seal their residency they have bought a house in the suburb of Taradale and are in the process of "doing up the bathroom and ripping out the kitchen," Mr Pearse said with a laugh.

"It's going well...we're personalising it to what we want."

They intend moving in at the end of June, when the contract on their present Chelsea Drive home is up, and chose to stay in Taradale because sons Zac and Wesley had settled so well at school there and "it's a really nice area".

As well as joining the Kiwi pursuit of DIY (do it yourself), the family had also discovered the joys of Saturday sport.

"I've joined a football team...the Marewa Mates in the second division, and Zac has joined the Greendale Rockets and I coach them.

"So on Saturday morning Zac plays and I play in the afternoon...then Chrissie's off to the gym and Wesley is playing rugby which he's always wanted to do."

With a laugh, he said ideas of coming to Napier for a quiet "taking it easy" time had been replaced by a packed social and sporting calender.

"And it's great."

The friendliness they had encountered, and the overall lifestyle and what the region had to offer, had sealed their decision early in the piece,' Mr Pearse said.

"My mother was out here for three weeks recently visiting us and when she left she said we'd be stupid to go back to the UK."

The only downside at present was finding full-time employment, he said.

As an electrical installation and training specialist there weren't many opportunities in that field, and he had been told he was over- qualified for some jobs.

His wife, a specialist in the psychiatric health field, had a job interview lined up next week.

"I could end up being a house husband," Mr Pearse said.


- HAWKE'S BAY TODAY