Marc Denholm, New Zealand

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Name: Marc Denholm
Originally From: London, UK
Moved To: Christchurch, Canterbury
Visa Type: Skilled Migrant Visa

Marc Denholm should have more reason than most to regret his decision to emigrate. For since arriving to live in New Zealand in 2005, the former Londoner has been present at some of the worst natural disasters to hit the country for many years – namely the earthquakes which destroyed large swathes of Christchurch in 2010 and 2011.

However, despite the tragedy and trauma that Marc, his Kiwi wife Amanda and their two young children have witnessed and no doubt experienced first-hand, the family have nevertheless stayed in Christchurch and have no plans to move anytime soon.

“I love the accessibility that there is here in Christchurch,” enthuses Marc. “If you want to go to the beaches then they are only 25 minutes away, great skifields are only 40 minutes away and there is plenty of open space which is great for us as a family with young children.“

The relatively small size of New Zealand’s third-largest city is also something that Marc finds advantageous. “It’s big enough to be what I’d term a city – but there is a definite feeling of community here. This is something you don’t tend to get in larger metropolises, like London.”

So did the earthquakes not make him at least think twice about staying in Christchurch? “Not really,” he replies. “I think maybe if I’d lost my house or if someone I knew had been injured or killed or I’d lost my job then perhaps I’d have a different way of thinking. But none of those things happened.

“For us, life here does feel pretty normal again. Our house damage was fairly minor and our daily routine wasn’t majorly disrupted. The kids don’t talk about what happened – they seem to be perfectly happy.”

For now, then, Marc is looking forward to what the future holds for the ‘new’ and hopefully even better Christchurch. “What’s happening here with the rebuild is unprecedented. I’m pretty excited about everything that’s going to take place here in Christchurch over the next 10 to 15 years.”

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