The idea came after we were badgered by friends to see if the BBC wanted to do another of their emigration stories on New Zealand. Two things put us off trying this approach, firstly they had already done a New Zealand story and secondly Alex wasn't keen to be followed continuously by a camera crew.
I knew that it would be a great idea to record the process and when I saw the article in Destination New Zealand asking for volunteers to do the New Zealand story I secretly wrote in and offered the family. Surprisingly the offer was accepted and I went off to buy the new camera - which of course had always been the plan!!!!
It took us about 75 'takes' to get the first 3 minute trial tape done and then we were on our way. It has been great fun to do and an invaluable memory store for us - in all we sent in about 16 hours of tape so we will be fascinated to see what makes the final cut!!!
We would very strongly suggest that you do keep a record of the getting here part of your journey (and a video is as good a means as any) so that, if nothing else, you can look back in a few years and smile about it - albeit you might not be smiling just now!!!!!!
News Article from the Taranaki Daily News Newspaper
English immigrant family to tell their Taranaki story
Daily News October 2003
FIVE recent additions to Taranaki will be filming their version of the good, the bad and the ugly of the province to send back to England. The video will tell the story of their 18-month battle to move Down under.
Mike and Alex Cole and their three children landed in New Plymouth three weeks ago after being “a bit taken” by an immigration seminar about Taranaki in April last year.
Having spent months fighting for a visa to emigrate to New Zealand, an Internet misunderstanding landed Mr Cole a job in New Plymouth before he even knew he had applied.
Frustrated with continued attempts to gain a business visa to buy a kayaking company in Hamilton, and not wanting to worry her husband, Mrs Cole started firing applications off over the Internet to see what sort of response she might get.
A New Plymouth financial adviser , took a shine to Mr Cole’s 27-year experience in the finance industry and wrote back. Mr Cole had no idea who he was.
With more visa applications (successful this time) and a “very long flight behind them the Coles are delighted to be in New Plymouth.
“Everybody is unbelievably friendly!” said Mrs Cole, as she told of being offered the loan of a car by a family they met at the supermarket.
“At first we thought, ‘What do they want?’ It is a bit embarrassing to admit that, but in the UK that sort of thing just doesn’t happen,” she said.
Their initial impression they got of New Plymouth was a description by Mayor Peter Tennent while he was promoting the region in Surrey last year.
‘We saw this bloody giant get up and start talking. He is so full of character — he was hard not to notice. He said that going for a run in London he noticed everyone walked with their heads down. Running in New Plymouth was, like, ‘Morning! Morning!’ to everybody you went past, he said. That was it for me — that was what I wanted,” recounted Mr Cole.
But while they are loving their new home, getting here was a real challenge and the video diary they are sending home will tell the story for others following in their footsteps.
Outbound Publishing, an English company that puts out newspapers and videos for potential emigrants, will star the Cole family in its new production on New Zealand, showing the ups and downs of moving halfway round the world with three children. The family take their digital video camera wherever they go. “We do pieces about the difficulties we’ve come across. It is the little things that matter, like not to bring any (electrical)plugs you just have to change them all!” said Mr Cole.
Whatever the final cut is, it is doubtful that New Plymouth will get anything other than a glowing review.
Joe (12) and Jacob Cole (8) have settled in at school and are getting to grips with adapting to being Kiwi kids. “On his first day here Jacob just pulled off his shoes and started running around barefoot. You don’t get much more Kiwi than that,” Mr Cole said with a laugh. As their three-year-old daughter Gabriella bounces from trampoline to sandpit and back with her new Kiwi best friend, Toby, the Coles look forward to learning to surf, starting work, and finding a house with some room for guests. “People thought it was crazy coming all this way to live, but now everyone wants to come out for Christmas!” said Mrs Cole.
“We are the champions my friends!!!”
Alex and Mike are extremely proud to announce that they have been crowned "Champion Migrants 2005/2006" by Outbound Publishing following voting by the public after watching the "Emigrate Challenge DVD" - to all who voted for us many, many thanks and we hope we can continue to help all of you realise your dreams of making a new life in NZ!!!!