my husband and I are planning to uproot our family and move to Northern New Zealand. We are still hashing over the "where's" and the "how's", but all in all...it seems do-able so far. My husband is a clinical masters level social worker, which qualifies him for a migrant work visa and he is very excited to work in a country where a more socialist government is in place. Because we both feel adamently that it is impossible to give adequate social care to a people whose basic needs are largely unmet, as it is in the USA, we are eager to live in an area where the people MATTER. Everything we have researched about New Zealand appeals to us...but I wanted to hear some authentic "people stories" as well. Currently, we live in Montana where we are homeschooling our 4 sons. Our eldest son is now 20 and doesn't live at home anymore...he is keen on visiting us in New Zealand, but isn't currently interested in joining us. The 4 younger boys range in ages from 14 to 7...and we just found out last night that we are expecting again; this news was very happy for us because we lost our twin sons to still birth a year and a half ago...we weren't sure if we would ever have another child, but now...we are very hopeful. We are rather earthy and enjoy alternative living and are pretty sick of the American "Bigger is Better" mentality. I can see us all enjoying a slower pace with beautiful beaches and friendly people...but of course, I've never been there....so I am curious...how is it REALLY in New Zealand? Some relatives have tried to "scare" us away from moving by telling us the government takes 50% of your income ---I have found this to be untrue based on the imigration sites...And others tell us it is freezing cold there....---I have also read contradictory accounts of this. So far, nothing sounds like anything we wouldn't love completely....Sooooo....I guess my questions are: 1) where is the warmest spot? 2) Where is the most alternative spot? 3) Where can I have an orchard? mangos? peaches? avacados....? 4) Are kiwis friendly to larger families? (not so much here in Montana...surprisingly...) 5) What about unschooling? 6) Can a family subsist on a NZ dollar income of 40 to 60,000? 7) What is the best area for swimming beaches? 8) Are sharks a danger? 9) and my 7 year old would like to know if the zoos are nice and big? Thank you so much....Again...we are SO excited to become kiwi's!