top of page
Sonia Richardson_edited.jpg
Young Sonia Richardson at Plimmerton Beach_edited.jpg

Sonia Richardson

Sonia was born in Jersey (a small island between France and Britain) and moved to New Zealand when she was a little girl. Sonia lived with her mum, dad and two younger sisters in Porirua.


When Sonia was 15 years old her dad suddenly died from a heart attack - which may have been brought on from his experiences in World War II where he was badly injured and had a lung removed. 


While her dad’s sudden death was incredibly sad and a huge loss for Sonia, there was more to come!


Soon after her dad died, Sonia had to be told that she was in-fact adopted. Her biological parents were a French couple who tragically died in a car accident when she was a baby. Sonia was adopted by an English couple who lived in Jersey, and then moved to New Zealand.


“I didn't know anything about this whatsoever, until my father died” explains Sonia. “I had no idea. My mother had to sit me down and tell me I was adopted. I just burst into tears.” If that was not enough, Sonia then discovered that her dad had left everything in his will to Sonia. Her father hadn’t got around to updating his Will to include Sonia’s younger sisters.


“As far as I was concerned, they were my sisters and deserved just as much as me.


Sonia went about ensuring that the rest of her family were added to her dad’s will and that everyone was treated fairly.


“To me, we were just a family and should all be treated the same.” Says Sonia.


While on the face of it getting the rest of her family added to the will should have been straightforward, Sonia had to fight for it.


“I had to stand up in Court and tell the judge to add my mother and my two sisters. I said I want it changed so we get equal amounts. My mother gets an amount and my sisters and I get the same. It was not easy, for a 15-year-old girl”.

After some deliberation, the court finally agreed, and Sonia’s mother and two sisters were added to the will. Sonia remained very close to her Mum and two sisters. “They are my family” Says Sonia.  


Another challenge for Sonia has been her sight. Sonia is legally blind.


Sonia was born with complete vision but began to slowly lose her sight from when she was a child at school.  She now has no sight in her right eye and only peripheral vision in her left eye.


This did not stop Sonia getting a job at the Wellington Railways department and then a job at the Blind Foundation, where she is also a member.


Other than a short stint in Australia, Sonia has always lived in Wellington.  


“Wellington -It's beautiful, absolutely beautiful.”


Sonia moved into Central Park Apartment in 2006 and lived here ever since. Although she did have to move out while the Apartments were upgraded in 2012. “The place is much better, now much nicer and safer.”  


Today Sonia loves the Central Park community and has some lovely neighbours. “There’s some really nice people here, and we look out for each other”


Sonia Richardson has been a tenant at Central Park for 17 years.


Thank you for sharing your story Sonia. If you have a story you’d like to tell please get in touch

bottom of page