Mt Maunganui, NZ

One of the worlds best beaches, and the place I call home - my kāinga.. a bit of a backstory to preface my journey...


In March 2011 my Dad was 4 months post-diagnosis with 'a bit of rust' (as he so aptly put it), when I was offered a good job in 'The Mount'.

I had been living with him, after a cluster of poor decisions and bad luck had landed me at about as close to rock bottom as I ever care to be, and he had insisted I scoop up my babies (aged 5 and 10 at the time) and come 'home' for a few weeks until I was back on my feet.

Those 'few weeks' turned into nearly 12 months, but I look back on that time as one of the best little chapters of my life. I felt loved and supported, without judgement or any hint of time pressure to get myself sorted. I had breathing space to just be a Mum and to start putting my life back together. I showed thanks by way of a clean house to come home to, cooked dinner most nights, and some home-baking that he would sometimes sneak home for during his work-day. He shared with me one day before I moved out that getting to spend that time with his grandsons had made him happier than he could have imagined. He was in awe of the beautiful, well mannered little boys that they were, and he told me how proud he was of me as a Mum. It filled my heart and helped restore my confidence, to the point that when I was offered the job in The Mount, I actually felt I was capable of it. As previously mentioned though, there was a spanner in the works, and I had a tough decision to make. I felt strong enough to move to a new town and start a better life with my growing boys, but leaving meant I would be away from my Dad while he was having his own battles. He convinced me it was too good an opportunity to pass up though, and that he would be fine.

Fast forward 12 years and this is the place I've called home since April 2011. Dad passed away in September that year, and although a piece of me went with him, there's something really special about Mauao (the mountain here), the white sandy beach that stretches all the way to Pāpāmoa, and the relative quiet of the soft waves on a warm day, that soothe your soul. It's a good place to heal, and a great place to live, and laugh with friends and family.