New Zealand visa leads to citizenship for sailing family

The Bonham-Carter family left Canada seven years ago for an adventure sailing trip around the Pacific, but along the way they fell in love with New Zealand and decided to settle in Nelson.

Now the family of five have cemented their tie by becoming New Zealanders.

Sue and Adam Bonham-Carter said it seemed a logical thing for them and their three daughters Gayla, 17, Tasha, 16, and Becca, 13 to do.

He and his wife described their new home as "a little paradise".

he Bonham-Carters left British Columbia with the idea of spending a year or so cruising the Pacific, then returning home. They flew to New Zealand, bought a boat in Auckland, and sailed around the Hauraki Gulf, Bay of Islands and Coromandel areas to sharpen up their sailing skills before heading offshore.

After finding that they loved New Zealand they decided to make the move more permanent.

So after they had tripped around Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga and New Caledonia, they did just that.

The family lived on their yacht, Mighty Quinn, in the Nelson Marina while they saved up to buy a house.

Mr and Mrs Bonham-Carter both obtained a New Zealand visa, landed work with a global ground engineering and environmental services consultancy firm, Golder Associates, and later set up an office for it in Nelson.

Four of the family took part in a citizenship ceremony at the Nelson City Council yesterday. Becca Bonham-Carter was unable to make it because she is in Canada visiting family.

The family joined 25 other people from Britain, Belgium, South Africa, Germany, Korea, the Netherlands and the United States at the ceremony.


The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in New Zealand visa and immigration services.