naming locations similar to Dunedin, Argentina does not often
make the list - but for Juan Puricelli the similarity of
Dunedin to his native country helps make the city home.
Mr Puricelli and his wife Maria Callau left Argentina to
escape the financial crisis which crippled the nation's
economy in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
They are among an increasing number of people from Africa,
Asia, Europe and South America to call Dunedin home and are
changing the cultural fabric of the city.
Statistics from the latest census show ethnic diversity in
Dunedin is on the rise and increases to all ethnic groups
were reported in last year's census.
Mrs Callau left Argentina first in 2001 and moved to
Australia, with the intention Mr Puricelli would follow soon
after. However, difficulties in obtaining a work visa for Mr
Puricelli brought the couple to Auckland in 2003, where their
eldest daughter Maia was born, and then south to Dunedin in
2005. Another daughter, Camila, was born in Dunedin in 2009
and their children were part of the reason Dunedin was an
appealing place to call home, Mrs Callau said.
''Every city I lived in when I was at school or university
[had a population] above a million, so this is the smallest
place I have lived, but I find it really good for the kids,''
Dunedin offered stability and economic opportunities which
were not available in Argentina.
''We would have to be working full-time, both of us, to give
the kids what they need, while here we can work one of us
full-time and one of us part-time and we are only five
minutes away from everything,'' Mrs Callau said.
The accessibility of public facilities, like parks and
swimming pools, and the city's safety were also a ''big, big
advantage'', Mr Puricelli said.
The couple did miss the ''busy life'' of their homeland, but
the outdoor experiences and lifestyle offered in Dunedin
reminded Mr Puricelli of where he grew up, in Patagonia.