Ex-pat Kiwi football star Laura Merrin has escaped the UK winter and made the most of the New Zealand weather.
Merrin, who left New Zealand for England in 2014 to live her soccer dreams to the max, currently plays for the Fylde Ladies in the north-west after a spell at Everton in Liverpool.
The talented 23-year-old has more than 75,000 Instagram followers and has shared with them the best sights of the South Island.
Arriving home to Christchurch in mid-December, from her plane she showed off the city’s coast at its glorious best.
Next, were some poolside shots at home, before showcasing Kaikoura and Picton.
Her looks and social media profile attracted some unwanted attention when, in 2016, British tabloid the Sun labelled her the “world’s hottest footballer”.
The paper ran an article featuring photos taken from her social media accounts under the headline: “Move over Cristiano Ronaldo — is Everton Ladies star Laura Merrin the world’s hottest footballer?”
That went down badly with the people of Liverpool, who despise the newspaper for its erroneous reporting of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, which claimed 96 lives. After initially approving the Sun article, Merrin apologised on social media.
She was supported by Hillsborough campaigner Charlotte Hennessy, who tweeted: “Hope no1 is givin this girl grief! She probably wasn’t even born! Can’t control if the scum write about her can she!!”
We think the talented Kiwi deserves a shout-out for showing off the South Island to her UK fans.
Also, back in New Zealand after a hugely successful 2018 has been Indy racing superstar Scott Dixon with wife Emma Davies-Dixon and their two young daughters.
Davies-Dixon never fails to entertain on her Instagram feed with her quirky posts of the couple’s life. The pair enjoyed some posing and climbing Mount Maunganui around Christmas and were at Cable Bay with friends on Waiheke for New Year’s Eve.
“If your reading this I’m drunk” she posted on her Instagram story, with emojis and pictures of a taxi cab, a smiling rainbow and a chihuahua with its tongue hanging out and another line of text “I’ve been DRANK” followed by “2 Lit 2 Quit.” In a post on New Year’s Day, Davies-Dixon, posted a more sober picture of a flowering field on Waiheke with thanks for last year.
“Happy New Year everyone, Sitting with a coffee watching the first morning of 2019 take hold . . . so beautiful.
"2018 was a near-perfect year, with Scott’s 5th Championship, film release, and many beautiful moments with the girls, family and friends. Excited to see what 2019 has in store for us all,” she wrote.