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Paul Weeks moved to Perth in search of a better life after the Christchurch earthquakes and, finally, it seemed his life was heading on an exciting new phase.
The 38-year-old New Zealander, husband of Danica, father to Lincoln and Jack, was on board Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 en route to Mongolia for a new job in the mining industry.
''He had just taken on a new role; that's why he was heading to Mongolia,'' Mr Weeks' sister, Sara Weeks, said. ''He was going to be based there for a month on [at a time]. It was a really good job and he was going to be paid very well.
''He was excited and looking forward to getting started. It was going to set them up. When [Danica] kissed him goodbye she was hoping he would be back in a month.''
Ms Weeks said she spoke to her brother's wife in Perth about 2am on Sunday and ''she is very, very upset - naturally. She is of the understanding that it's looking like the plane has crashed. ''She is bracing herself for the worst.''
Mr Weeks' mother, who followed him to Perth and ''lives about two doors down on the same street'', flew to Christchurch on Sunday morning on a pre-booked flight, Sara Weeks said, to attend her 40th birthday next weekend.
''Everyone other than my grandparent moved over there. My mother, my youngest brother and my oldest daughter all flew over this morning. We're with my grandparents. We're just basically sitting here watching the news,'' she said.
''We're obviously very upset. But you kind of cling to that little bit of hope when you don't know.
''We're all just here hoping to find something out. I think we're hoping that it landed somewhere nicely and he's sitting having a coffee. We don't know anything other than what we have seen on the television, but I think when you put two and two together … it's not looking good.''
Ms Weeks said her brother was a ''lovely man'', ''lots of fun'' and ''very family-oriented''.
Mr Weeks spoke to Christchurch's The Press newspaper in 2012, saying he would have preferred to stay in New Zealand but the odds were stacked against him and his family.
''Career-wise it is far better in Australia,'' he was quoted as saying. ''There is a mining boom here. I sent out 100 job applications before moving and within a week had three job offers. It is chalk and cheese with what is happening in New Zealand.''
Mr Weeks told The Press he had doubled his salary and, with the effect of the exchange rate, probably tripled it.
''I consider our move to Australia to be one of necessity, rather than by choice, as we were content starting a family in Christchurch and enjoying the outdoors.
''However, there is only so much an average family can take before one abandons the nest.''
He blamed recessionary pressure, high food prices and the continuing rumbling of after-shocks in Christchurch for forcing his decision to leave.
''After being in Perth for the past six months I can honestly say that the effort required to flourish in Australia is significantly lower than that of New Zealand.
''The cost of living is probably cheaper to some extent and cars are cheaper. The negatives are being away from family but it is pretty good here and you're never short of money.''
Fairfax New Zealand, Reuters