first home


PHOTO: ALDEN WILLIAMS/STUFF Richie and Esther Tikolevu with their children at their new Islington home. Front row, from left, Ricattaleya, 4, Ronaldo, 2, Ricardo, 7. Back row, Raquel, 8, left, Rochelle, 6, and RJ, 9.

It took Richie Tikolevu and his wife Esther six years to save up for their first home – that’s one year for each of their children.

The couple saved hard, cutting costs everywhere they could – even cooking on a gas hob rather than using the expensive electric stove. A $23,000 gift from Tikolevu’s parents helped, but with six little ones, it still wasn’t easy to scrape together a deposit.

Last week the hard work paid off. The 34-year-old truck driver and his family have moved into their first home in Islington, Christchurch.

“It’s good to move into your own home,” he says from the roadside somewhere between Christchurch and Invercargill. “It’s a wonderful feeling to just know that it’s yours.”




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