Living in South Taranaki

Living in South Taranaki

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Kiwi born Sue Pegrume lived in the States for 20 years and met her American husband Steve Ackerman while there.  Ten years ago Sue and Steve were on holiday, hiking and climbing around Mt Taranaki and they fell in love with the area and the beauty of the Mountain adjacent to the sea. 

Three years later they moved to Opunake where Steve works at the local High School just half a block from his doorstep and Sue loves being a stay at home mum.   “We wanted to raise the kids at a slower pace, and to recapture for them the simple childhood we enjoyed; school and play and healthy outdoor activities – participating in sports, bike riding, swimming and playing with friends.” 

With cheaper housing than in the States and pay incentives for teachers to come to rural schools, the Pegrume/Ackermans have found they can afford to have one parent stay at home, “our mortgage is at least a third of what it would be if we were in Auckland.”  Sue says, “Opunake is a really supportive community, we’ve made heaps of friends, we often joke it’s five minutes to the shops but it can take you an hour because of the friendliness of the people”. 

While Sue and Steve begin to list advantages like cheap healthcare, cheap health insurance, a safer neighbourhood, the celebration of bi-culturalism and the rich diversity within the community, Jade and Jonah are outside on the front lawn playing with their friend Johann - his mother is from Tonga and she and her family love it here too!

Pictured above; Steve and Sue with the children – left to right:  Friend Johann, with Jonah and Jade