25 years after fleeing from Kosovo, the Rakovica family returns to New Zealand

The Rakovica family

Burim Rakovica, his wife and daughter Marigona

The Rakovica family has reflected on the bitter past and the safe present, 25 years after fleeing from Kosovo to New Zealand.

Burim Rakovica, his pregnant wife and their six daughters left Kosovo for Auckland in 1999.

The source became emotional as he recalled the constant fear of everyday life in his homeland during the war.

"We had to hide. Every day we didn't turn on the lights", the head of the family confesses to 1News.

"They [Serbian forces] destroyed our car just to see if we hid things in different areas," says Burim's daughter, Marigona Rakovica, wiping away tears.

"We looked outside... there were gunshots all over our house", she confesses through tears.

Today, the Rakovica family joined the Albanian community in New Zealand to plant trees at the Refugee Resettlement Center.

"25 years go by so fast because life is so beautiful, so good. Thanks to the government. They give us opportunities to raise our children. We are proud to be here and thank the people of New Zealand", Burim Rakovica concludes the story.