My latest column for Savvy magazine (NZME.) – ‘How To Tell If That Marriage Is Gonna Last’


By Michael Botur


How to tell if that marriage is gonna last


I once had a couple of friends who were Christchurch high school sweethearts. They had their wedding while the rest of us were still finding nudie mags in an alleyway. They appeared to have discovered the secret to everlasting happiness.

They were divorced by the time the rest of us were just settling into mid-20s year-long partnerships.

Honestly, we never saw the breakup coming. They were good Christians and they made beautiful babies together. I even bought them a $40 wok as a wedding present, confident that their love would be forever metaphorically stir-fried.

The wok is now split in two, presumably, and spends every second weekend with dad.

Perhaps being in a de facto hipster relationship without marriage is the answer?  Take my sister: she’s been with her man nearly 10 years and he’s not looking like he’ll ever put a ring on her (but seriously, Pete, if you’re reading this: put a ring on my sister already, bro.)

I have another couple of friends who had a mint wedding at a Kerikeri orchard, had a child together, honeymoon, and spent five figures on their wedding.  People came from all over the country to attend.

Three months later: divorced. And it wasn’t as if they were hot enough to easily find somebody else.

Where is the consistency? Where are the indicators of a couple’s likelihood of endurance, if kids and woks don’t guarantee lasting love?

Despite Generation Snowflake’s reputation of having no time for tradition, divorce rates are declining rapidly, from about 13 per 1000 existing marriages in 1998 down to 8.7 per 1000 in the last year counted. However, marriages are trending downward at the same rate, too.

Because marriage is being devalued by so many of us, I’m going to recommend a few ways to keep that relationship going AFTER the marriage, because it sounds like marriage isn’t really tying a knot on a relationship at all.

Advice to keep lovers together – and this is no joke:

  • Let both partners have the right to socialise any night of the week so they can become spiritually satisfied as an individual with a distinct identity outside of the house
  • The dinner table is the ideal place to air all your frustrations from the day without shame
  • Frequently try new things either on your own or together, such as going to new destinations, eating new foods, trying interesting sports
  • Presents can be expensive, but they are deeply meaningful. Splash out with time and money and get your lover something today.

This is coming from a man who found true love as a skinny Wellingtonian vegan poet age 23, back when my lady was a teenage, pierced, spiky-haired artist sceptical of everything in the world – and especially sceptical of love and marriage.

We got married five years ago and we’ve been together ten.

Love you, Sarah ;o)

Volunteer writing / promoting local Northland writers January-February 2018

This picture (credit AUT University) says it all, I think: on top of the professional content writing services for clients in Northland, Whangarei and Auckland, I do a bit of volunteering. Straight-up: some of it is because I like to see my own name in print. Other stuff is to add to


my portfolio. But something which takes me hours per week – and which I hope Creative New Zealand and Creative Northland will help subsidise – is volunteering to promote other writers’ work. Recent examples include:

Creative writing projects January-February 2018

Mike with poetry posse cropped.jpg

Creative writing jobs that have kept me busy January-February 2018 include:

  • Performing with the Poetry Posse performance poetry troupe at Northland’s art festival ArtBeat (Poetry Posse’s website is here )
  • Publishing lots of Northland creative writing news – unpaid, pro bono – at, covering new novelists, short story writers and the NZ Society of Authors’ news
  • Edits to the manuscript of my forthcoming novel ‘Crimechurch’
  • Putting together the short story collection ‘True?’ to be published late 2018
  • Promoting young adult novel ‘Moneyland’ by selling books and arranging reviews


Copywriting help for clients: January-February 2018

mike-writer-photo.jpgI spent the summer of 2017-2018 writing a novel, ‘Crimechurch,’ which will be published later in 2018. It’s in the literary fiction genre and looks at what motivates people in the underworld of the South Island’s only metropolis. I’m REALLY excited to publish the novel later this year, although the manuscript will need three further drafts. That’s a lot of work as each draft takes a solid week of work. It’ll require a paid creative writing residency.

Work for clients I’ve been doing Jan-Feb 2018 includes:

Writing most text for Northland DHB’s Census campaign. This includes:

  • Writing news stories about the significance of Census 2018
  • Writing social media content
  • Scheduling Facebook videos to reach the client’s audience
  • Writing text for the new Northland DHB website
  • Reporting on the reach of the client’s social media
  • Publishing quarterly magazine for the client
  • Daily news stories for the client

Writing blogs for a client in the building/renovation/demolition industry. This includes:

  • Constructing original blog content which is sound, entertaining, and captures SEO traffic
  • Proofreading and editing blogs
  • Building into each blog the right SEO structure to bring page hits to the client


Writing opinion columns for Property Plus magazine, to be printed and put on the client’s website. The purpose:

  • To entertain the reader and keep the reader’s eyes on the mag / website
  • To inform the reader and associate the Property Plus brand with quality information
  • To bring page hits to the Property Plus website

Writing services to meet your communication needs – Auckland, Northland, NZ

Kia ora. I’m Michael Botur from KiwiWords – communications, content and copywriting. 

I offer professional writing services to clients around the country, especially in Northland and Auckland.

I am based in Whangarei, New Zealand.

If you’ve ever found typing hard, found it impossible to get an interview with somebody on paper, or struggled to make the words on your website professional, KiwiWords is here to help.

KiwiWords writing services take a big burden off you, allowing you to get on with the work you need to focus on.

I’m just a phone call or an email away, on 021 299 0984 or

Rates for writing services begin at $69 per hour, plus GST.

KiwiWords can usually take care of overnight urgent writing jobs for $99 per hour ex GST. 

I’ve written content for clients in a huge range of industries. I can help with the following types of writing:

  • Journalism
  • Writing media releases
  • Design and formatting for your media release
  • High quality photographs
  • Interviewing
  • Blogging
  • Content writing
  • Ghostwriting
  • Creative writing
  • Transcribing
  • Proofreading
  • Editing
  • Word Processing
  • Search engine optimisation


Browse around and you’ll find everything you need to know about what I offer in terms of

Get a wordsmith and make communications crisp and clear. 

Phone 021 299 0984 or email