Au pairs on Haw­era farms

South Taranaki Star - - YOUR RACE, YOUR PACE - STAFF RE­PORTER

South Taranaki has be­come home for dozens of au pairs who are now liv­ing just kilo­me­tres apart on dairy farms in the re­gion.

The au pairs, who are mainly from Ger­many, have be­come saviours for dairy farm­ers liv­ing near Haw­era.

Rachel and Mur­ray Perks have two young chil­dren and say they used to strug­gle with the early starts in the milk­ing shed.

‘‘Now that we have an au pair we can keep our chil­dren at home and don’t have to take them to the milk­ing shed,’’ says Ms Perks.

When Ger­man au pair Veronika Burger ar­rived, life be­came a whole lot eas­ier.

‘‘The best thing for me is that it doesn’t knock the chil­dren’s rou­tine, in­stead of get­ting them up early, they can stay in their own beds.

‘‘It’s also re­ally flex­i­ble, we come home and see the chil­dren dur­ing the day, which is some­thing we would not get with other child­care op­tions.’’

Veronika ar­rived in Au­gust, dur­ing a ‘‘hec­tic’’ calv­ing sea­son on the farm, and quickly be­came ac­cus­tomed to life in a busy ru­ral house­hold.

‘‘She is part of the fam­ily and has formed a close re­la­tion­ship with the chil­dren. She keeps them en­ter­tained and en­sures they are learn­ing all the time.’’

The Perks fam­ily and dozens of other fam­i­lies in the area found their au pair through Au Pair Link.

‘‘It was a re­ally smooth process, we were able to interview dif­fer­ent au pairs over Skype and Veronika re­ally stood out, we are very happy with how it all worked.’’

A love of chil­dren and op­por­tu­nity to travel en­ticed Veronika to be­come an au pair, and has seen her make new friends and travel New Zealand.

‘‘There’s a good group of about 20 of us who catch up once a week for din­ner, which is a fan­tas­tic sup­port. We also plan trips around New Zealand to­gether.’’

More au pairs can now come to New Zealand due to a re­cent part­ner­ship be­tween Au Pair Link and New Zealand’s lead­ing in-home child­care provider PORSE.

Au Pair Link Gen­eral Man­ager Casey Mu­raahi says she is ex­cited about of­fer­ing more fam­i­lies across the coun­try wider ac­cess to au pairs.

Ger­man au pairs work­ing in the Haw­era Dis­trict. From left, Veronika, Ann-So­phie, Katja, Jo­hanna, Ju­dith, Maike.

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