When you are Rotorua to the depths of your being and you transfer yourselves across the Tasman what do you do to stay true to your home town values?
If you're Harry and Nari Ngatai you transplant them, nurture them, let them flourish and branch out to embrace Maori and their traditions across the wider Gold Coast rohe (region).
In the close to 30 years they've lived in Brisbane Harry and Nari have been at the core of the local Maori community, by any ethnicity's standards it's large. Harry has become its kaumatua "doing everything from blessing rich men's boats to organising pohiri for trade delegations", Nari is its kuia.
She's 'leader of the pack' of the women's fellowship group Te Mana Wairua; under Nari's direction it's recently produced a 16-track CD of Maori favourites entitled Happy Memories.
Harry's done his share of ensuring te reo remains alive in the country so many Maori have adopted. For years he had a regular slot on 4EB, Brisbane's ethnic radio station.
The Aboriginal community's acknowledged his wisdom and guidance, presenting him with a traditional talking stick.
Together the Ngatais have coached kapa haka, performed at the Brisbane Expo and acted as Maori advisors and consultants for Australia's federal and state governments.
At least once a year, often more frequently, they return home to cement their connection to their whanau roots.
Their golden and diamond wedding anniversaries, the latter last September, were celebrated where they married - Ohinemutu's St Faith's church.
Nari became a born-again Christian there in 1971 "as a member of [the late] Harland Thompson's prayer group I learned Christianity was more deep than your bum on the seat".
There will be few "of a certain age" educated in this city who weren't taught by either Harry or Nari. He spent more than 30 years at Boys' High, starting when it was still the co-ed Rotorua High School. Primaries and intermediates were Nari's speciality although she was teaching phys ed at the newly-opened Girls' High when she became pregnant with daughter Jenny.
That she became a teacher is no surprise, pre-marriage she was a Morrison, it's almost compulsory for that whanau to produce a swag of men and women who've found their forte at the chalk face. Her four brothers and sister all taught.
Although born on Matakana Island "under a quince tree" Rotorua was Harry's home from the day he graduated from Auckland Teachers' College until the mid 80s when the Ngatais made their trans-Tasman shift to help raise their first mokopuna (grandchild).
As long as they can keep their feet in both trans-Tasman camps and their eyes on two sets of moko they're happy.
By one of those quirks of fate we didn't know until we talked to the Ngatais one of those moko is Matatia Brell, recently featured by Our People. Now we know where a good slice of his star quality's derived from.
Distilling all the information the Ngatais provided us with on such wide-ranging topics would have any high-production still working overtime.
Nari's the talker of the pair, when Harry's contributions come they tend to be out of left field.
Goodness knows what we were chatting about when he asks if, by chance, we've heard of his sister's boy "who's quite famous now". It's X Factor judge Stan Walker.
Harry and the then Miss Morrison met as trainee teachers. Initially Nari couldn't stand the sight of him "he drank, had three girlfriends on the go at once".
Harry was president of the Training College's Maori Club, Nari its tutor.
"We were asked to do the entertainment for the snooty Grange Golf Club ball and so busy organising it we didn't have partners, had to dance together.
"He was a perfect gentleman, stopped drinking, started asking me out, we married as soon as we came out of college."
Nari spent her probationary year at Whangamarino Primary, Harry at the high school "the first to teach Maori there" and coaching rugby.
While at Rotorua Intermediate Nari met one particularly disinterested pupil - his name was Alan Duff.
"I was warned he was trouble, a delinquent. I told him we were lucky to have him in our room, he never gave me any problems, I made him class leader, he shone until he went to high school."
Nari instigated the school's hugely successful annual concerts, packing out the Sportsdrome, "the fire department just about did a haka".
Winning over future best-selling author Duff isn't her only self-imposed assignment.
A regular visitor to Jerusalem and organiser of several pilgrimages there, Nari was distressed to see the Lord's Prayer in Maori didn't feature on the Mount of Olives multi-lingual Pater Nosta wall.
"It was in every language but te reo." Back in Brisbane and with the late Bishop Whakahuihui Vercoe in Rotorua, she launched a fundraising drive to remedy the omission. "I knew I had to do it for Maori but a lot of Pakeha contributed too."
A copy hangs in St Faith's.
Golf's been a huge part of the Ngatais' lives. Harry was secretary of the Maori Golf Association for 30 years.
Life hasn't always been rosy for the couple. In her 30s Nari lost a breast to cancer.
Daughter Jenny takes up the story. "She was so chipper after the operation the doctor said she'll crash very soon, that was 49 years ago, we're still waiting for that crash."
HARRY AND NARI NGATAI (NEE MORRISON)
Born: Harry: Matakana Island 1931, Nari: Rotorua, 1932
Education: Harry: Matakana, Te Aute College, Auckland Teachers' College; Nari: Rotorua Primary, Whaka Native School, Rotorua High School, Auckland Teachers' College
Family: Son John-Murray (Brisbane), daughter Jenny Brell (Rotorua), three mokopuna
Interests: Both: Whanau. Harry: Golf, rugby "I joined the Waikite Club when it was unbeatable", the Territorials, fishing, Maori culture. Nari: "My church of the Global Guardians", visiting Jerusalem, Maori culture and entertainment, golf "but it's too hot to play in Brisbane"
Personal Philosophies: Both: "Put the Lord first, everything else will follow."