Hi, we are the Stannard family. There are five of us: Katherine, who works at Council; Steve, who lectures at Massey; and Elizabeth, Robert and Thomas who are school students.
We moved from Sydney to Palmy in March 2003, when Steve was offered a three year contract with Massey, and we're still here. Moving to Palmy, or anywhere in New Zealand, is very easy if you are coming from Australia. There are no visas to apply for or forms to fill in; you just need your passport, your ticket and your luggage.
So, what has kept us here? What do we love about Palmy? Here is a list:
The size. Small enough to bike and walk to lots of places and be a ten minute drive from anywhere. Large enough to have everything you might want - shops, sports venues, museums, theatres, education, businesses, parks, pretty much everything. No such thing as a traffic jam.
The countryside. Steve and I both love road cycling and have got back into it here, living in a place where we are a 5 minute ride from quiet country roads. The kids all enjoy both road and mountain biking and there are plenty of fun, safe places for them to ride.
The Esplanade. A great place to take young kids for a play, a bike ride, or a summer picnic and paddle. All our visitors get taken for a walk through the fabulous gardens.
House prices! We could actually afford to buy one.
Sports facilities and events. The Jets, Turbos, Flyers, YoungHeart Manawatu, international netball, basketball and rugby - all on our doorstep.
The central location. Only a couple of hours drive to Wellington, Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa and the ski fields.