New People, New Perspectives

As a local, it is often hard to see the appeal of a town that you have lived in your entire life. It is often only when you leave and discover another way of life that you truly appreciate how good we have it here in Ashburton.

Here at Ashburton Museum we have an exhibition on now entitled New Faces, New Lives. It displays the portraits and stories of some of the newcomers in our district.

Many of the comments made by newcomers show how truly appealing Ashburton is to those who have experienced life in other parts of the world. They also tell locals quite a lot about themselves.


A better life

Angela Naui came to Ashburton with her family from the Philippines because her parents wanted a better chance in life. Angela plans to stay here because she stated that, “Ashburton had just the right environment for me to flourish.”

Alar Arun says that they came to Ashburton from India because,

“I wanted a peaceful environment. I wanted to explore and expand my knowledge. I like to experience a new culture. I absolutely love meeting people and communicating with them.”

Friendly and welcoming

When asked what they liked about Ashburton newcomers say that it is a pleasure living in a friendly, exceptionally welcoming and supportive community. They tell us that people are really enthusiastic and encouraging, which they find amazing.

Newcomers enjoy their sports, churches, schools, youth activities, and networks of support. Many comment on the great community spirit they’ve discovered, and the new friends and connections they have made.


Our environment

For Alar Arun, “during winter the town will be surrounded by spectacular snow covered mountains especially Mt Hutt. I feel like I have my own ski field in my backyard.”

Louise and Matthew Glennon moved here from the United Kingdom. They said that coming to Ashburton with their children Reece and Sam was for an experience of a lifetime and for a lifestyle change. The Glennon family love the sense of community here as well as the domain and amenities such as the EA Networks Centre, Sports, Library and Museum. The family also enjoys Ashburton’s frosty mornings and amazing Milky Way views.



A home

Nana Sakaguchi, originally from Japan, moved to Ashburton from Christchurch following the 2011 Earthquake. Nana said that she likes Ashburton because “I love the people, they are kind generous and friendly.  We have been able to buy a house with a garden to grow vegetables – that has changed my life.  I’m no longer a city girl.” Nana plans to stay in Ashburton because her and her family have made some good friends in the area.  They are settled into their jobs and the Ashburton community and have started a small clothing business in town.

With new people, we gain a new perspective on Ashburton. As you look at the portraits and read the stories you will begin to appreciate not only the great aspects of our town, but also, the people in it.

Knows most people on wall - Angelina - 9 people

Your story?

If you are a newcomer, Ashburton Museum would love to hear your story and feature you on the Museum’s newcomers portrait wall. Call in or contact the museum at We’ll ask you four easy questions: Where did you came from, Why you love Ashburton, Why you came here and Why you’ve stayed.

Then send in portrait or contact the museum to help take your photo.

The New Faces, New Lives portrait wall is now on exhibition at Ashburton Museum on West Street.

 By Libby Neumann


  1. Midori Otaki and family
  2. Angela Naui
  3. Alar Arun and family
  4. Reese Paterson
  5. Sam Glennon
  6. Mercedes Walkman
  7. Nana Sakaguchi and family
  8. A portrait by a museum visitor
  9. Louise and Matthew Glennon

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