Radio star Sarah van der Kley’s perfect match

Their romance was unexpected, but the Breeze presenter and her wife Tracey are blissfully happy

Fourteen years ago, when radio presenter Sarah van der Kley met Tracey at a games night in Rotorua, the last thing either woman expected was to fall madly in love. The new Breeze Drive host was nursing a broken heart after ending a two-year relationship with her girlfriend, while Tracey was in the middle of a separation from the father of her two boys.

“When we were introduced that night, there was a really strong connection,” recalls 38-year-old Sarah. “It was entirely platonic at the time and though we couldn’t define the feeling, it stood out as special.”

The pair hit it off over a few drinks and some highly competitive Pictionary battles before calling it a night, but Tracey says their instant compatibility took her by surprise.

“I could feel I was developing feelings for Sarah, which was strange in itself as I’d never been in a same-sex relationship,” says the 46-year-old nurse. “I’m quite a black- and-white person, so I struggled initially because everything was grey. It was a confusing time – both full of excitement to embark on a new relationship, but at the same time, sadness as I closed another chapter in my life.”

While the wellbeing of Tracey’s two young sons James and Luke was everyone’s top priority following the separation, behind the scenes, the loved-up pair – who have since welcomed Josh, nearly five, and Sophie, 16 months, into their blended family – were privately enjoying getting to know one another over takeaways and movie nights.

They’re doting parents to Sophie and Josh.

Just three months later, they made things official, followed by a move to Hawke’s Bay later that year, where Sarah had landed another radio gig.

More than 14 years on, the couple – who celebrated their civil union in 2011 – are happier than ever, now settled in Rolleston, Christchurch.

With Sarah in her exciting new radio role and Tracey studying for her master’s, life right now is about keeping the plates spinning.

“Life is full-on but in a beautiful, boring way,” smiles Sarah. “Our household is a constant balance of family and work, and making sure to enjoy all the little moments along the way.”

Bride Sarah swept Tracey off her feet!

Indeed, motherhood certainly has its challenges, but the seasoned broadcaster, who’s been on our airwaves since she landed her first internship in 2006, is grateful for such a supportive, hands-on partner through it all.

“Being thrust into a step-parenting role in those early days was probably the most challenging thing I’d ever done,” tells Sarah. “I was only 24, had no kids of my own – and while I thought I knew what I was doing, turns out I got it wrong a lot of the time. We knew the changes in the boys’ lives had been immense, so we committed to a lot of reading and parenting courses to do our very best for them. We’ve been all-in since day one.”

As Sarah grew into the role, the unconditional love she had for her stepsons only strengthened her desire to one day have a baby of her own. Admittedly, at first, Tracey thought she was done with having children, but with time, she was excited about adding to their family… on one condition! “There was no way I was getting pregnant again,” laughs Tracey, who happily “outsourced” the job to Sarah, who carried both their babies, who were conceived from the same donor.

Sarah gave birth to their babies.

“We connected with Fertility Associates, but it took three years before we fell pregnant with Josh. At the time, a law had recently been passed in New Zealand where sperm donors could no longer be anonymous, which I 100% agree with, but understandably it meant a lot of men no longer wanted to come forward, delaying things further.”

The wait was worth every second when their healthy baby boy arrived in 2018, followed by daughter Sophie.

“The kids are like chalk and cheese,” smiles Sarah. “Josh is a sensitive soul who loves one-on-one time, while Sophie is bolshie, independent and ready to take on the world. They are lucky to have two

big brothers who just adore them. It’s very special.

“We did worry about bringing more children into the world and how the make-up of our family might impact their lives. In fact, we still do, but our children are shown unconditional love and that’s all that matters.”

It’s a sentiment that rings true in their relationship too. Tracey says, “Our story is testament to the fact you love who you love. I often wondered if I’d ever find the love of my life and, to my surprise, in walked Sarah.”

Adds Sarah, “We’ve packed a lot into 14 years. And while there might’ve been things we’d change over the years, we wouldn’t change the person. We are still so in love.”

Don’t miss Sarah on The Breeze Drive from 3pm weekdays.

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