The community spirited family were drawn to Fergus’ existing social connections in Levin, being close to family and the friendly locals. The school and preschool options, affordable sports and music options for their tamariki were attractive, alongside the wealth of outdoor activities available.
Nina says, “You can do so much on a weekend in Horowhenua for free, with plenty of options like going to the forest, beach, river, hikes in the bush or to the many parks around the area. The climate is temperate, it’s not too cold in winter and not too hot in summer!”
The kids’ hobbies also keep the family busy. Their children have attended swim lessons at Levin Aquatic Centre from a young age; an important skill to have being so close to large bodies of water. Their eldest child takes keyboard lessons and plays rugby for Levin Athletic Junior Rugby, and cricket for Levin Old Boys.
Community at the heart of family and work life
Fergus and Nina are both self-employed and run their own businesses; Fergus as a plumber and Nina as a home organiser. They both love helping people in the community and that is the foundation of their work. What Nina really loves about working in Levin is the support from the community, and the ease of whipping around town going from job to job without being stuck in endless traffic jams. It’s true they could work elsewhere, but with people at the centre of their careers, it helps that in Levin "everyone knows everyone".
On the weekends they often go to Foxton Beach, work on projects, be in nature, go fishing, walking, swimming, or play at the Levin Adventure Park, visit family and friends or go out for a meal. Taper is a firm favourite, with pies from Sponge Kitchen and coffee from Obsess Café in New World favoured by the parents. The kids love going to Columbus café at Mitre 10; it has special cookies and an indoor playground – the perfect outing on a rainy winters morning.
Celebrating special occasions are important to the family
For birthdays, they’ll have a party with friends and family, for Matariki they’ll celebrate with the school and community, but they also celebrate at home with special food and decorations. They have special decorations for every holiday and have a family tradition of setting up a ‘Celebration Circle’ - a wooden ring with little wooden decors that represent the holiday/season/the birthday kid. Nina makes them herself and loves changing it out throughout the seasons/holidays. For Halloween, they drive around the neighbourhood trick-or-treating, visiting the spooky houses decorated by festive locals. They blend two cultures and traditions to celebrate Christmas, with family as a centre of it; a reflection on how they live their lives in Horowhenua.