Getting to know our NZ networks – Kiwi Kids Abroad
Living abroad provides access to a wider understanding of the world, but knowing your heritage and culture is just as important, especially for those of us that have children while living away from New Zealand.
That’s why Kiwi Kids Abroad was set up in by Kent Gardner and his wife Gaye, whose children Freddie, Harry and Will were born in London.
They are well known to many of our members from their time in London and many will remember Kent is past winner of UK New Zealander of the Year.
The family moved back to New Zealand 18 months ago, but are committed to growing Kiwi Kids Abroad and return regularly to stay connected to their London roots.
For Kent and Gaye, stepping back into the New Zealand way of life was easier, as they had prepared their children by making sure they had a solid connection while they
were away. This is a legacy they would like to keep passing on and is very much a part of the network’s ambition.
Part of that connection involved visiting the great places of interest in London linked to New Zealand, including Captain James Cook’s blue plaque marking the home where he lived in Upper Shadwell, the monument of Kiwi Sir Keith Park who led Britain’s air defence during the battle of Britain, the Anzac memorial in Hyde Park, Smithfield markets where New Zealand lamb was first shipped to in 1882, through to the New Zealand artefacts in the British Museum and British Library.
Kent says as well as connecting Kiwis abroad the network also provides resources to help children understand cultural icons and the history of our nation, which from first-hand experience he knows really helps with adjustment back into Kiwi life.
Keeping your kids connected
The network has spread across the globe, having initially started in London. Their fast-growing Facebook page shares news from both New Zealand and internationally, events connecting the New Zealand community and celebrates young Kiwis globally. The Instagram page keeps you updated with lighter pieces of interest and news.
The Kiwi Kids Abroad website provides resources for young Kiwis and their families including New Zealand points of interest, learning tools and resources.
If you are a Kiwi parent you can register for the Tamariki Times - Kiwi Kid's Abroad's educational newsletter, which will you’ll receive by post. It is edited by New Zealand correspondent Elizabeth Collins, so it’s as up to date and relevant as possible.
Kiwi Kids Abroad is building its network to reach as many Kiwis and their young families, so please spread the word across your community.
There’s plenty of other people passionate about helping to build Kiwi Kid connections here in the UK. Loryn Cooper, who is based in London and is a New Zealand Business Women’s Network member, is looking at building out an events programme. If you want to get involved please email Loryn.