TVNZ reporter Sam Kelway on why his family have quit Auckland

The couple are enjoying a more relaxed pace of life in Tauranga with wee Violet.

By Kelly Bertrand
Packing up your entire life to move city, just weeks after welcoming your first baby, might seem like the very definition of insanity for many couples.
Indeed, there were times where TVNZ news reporter Sam Kelway (33) and his wife, fashion journalist Rosie Kelway (29), wondered what on earth they were doing as they loaded their belongings into a truck in Auckland to make the move to the regions.
“It was really, really scary,” says Sam, bouncing his seven-month old daughter Violet on his knee as he talks.
“In the days leading up to the shift, we were like, ‘What have we done? Is this the right decision?’ Rosie was in tears most nights!”
But they are now happily ensconced by the beach in Mt Maunganui, where Sam is based as TVNZ’s Tauranga/Bay of Plenty reporter. Like many young families faced with the dilemma of rising rent and cost of living in Auckland, Sam and Rosie say moving out of the city has been better than they ever imagined.
The idea of cashing in big-city life for a small-town existence is booming – there’s even a TV show, Moving Out with Tamati, dedicated to the notion – as making ends meet in the city gets increasingly difficult for many people.
And when TVNZ offered Sam the chance to move back to his and Rosie’s hometown as part of a recent news reporting strategy where journalists are stationed in regional areas such as Tauranga and Northland, he says they just couldn’t refuse.
“We eventually wanted to get back down here, but it was in the very, very long-term plan,” he tells. “I never thought it would even be possible to do my job and live here – but now it is and it’s been great fun.
“We realised there was a very important voice in the regions and at times it wasn’t being heard.”
Despite the initial chaos of the move, beachside living has been great for all three Kelways – Rosie especially loves the slower pace of life after a terrifying birth experience. Their little girl suddenly arrived seven weeks early and had underdeveloped lungs.
“The fact that she could arrive early wasn’t even on my radar,” tells Rosie.
“But from my waters breaking until she was here was four hours. I had no idea what the heck was going on. It was so frightening, the first few days were a real struggle. But after day three, we had an indication that she was going to be okay.”
“She was definitely a little surprise,” continues Sam.
“That second day was pretty rough as her oxygen dropped quite significantly, which was really scary.”
Thankfully, their daughter proved to be a fighter and after a few weeks in hospital, Sam and Rosie took their pride and joy home – and just a few weeks after that, made the move down to Tauranga, where Violet has thrived.
“She’s pretty chilled, but I think she’s also a little bit cheeky too,” laughs Rosie.
“She’s definitely solid,” Sam adds, grinning. “She was in the 90th percentile for weight during the pregnancy, so even though she was seven weeks early, she was born weighing 2.4kg, which was lucky.”
“Our midwife said she would have been 4.5kg if she had gone full term,” says Rosie.
Violet is now happy and healthy, and life in the Mount couldn’t be more different than before. The pair are adamant they have no regrets.
“I definitely think moving here has been great,” says Rosie, with Sam nodding in agreement. “I didn’t think I would like it as much as I have done.”
“Buying a house is more realistic, there’s the water right there, the coffee’s good, the insurance is cheaper,” he says.
“Everything just feels a little easier – we love it!”

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