Wellington, June 15 : New Zealand's National MP Nick Smith has got himself engaged in a very romantic fashion -a marriage proposal written in large letters in the sand.
Dr Smith's partner of 18 months, Linley Newport, 37, went to Tahunanui Beach in his Nelson electorate on May 31 under the impression she was joining Dr Smith and the four children by their previous marriages for a picnic, the Nelson Mail reported.
On arriving she discovered that Dr Smith had used a stick to write, "Dearest Linley, will you marry me?" in large letters in the sand and was holding a ring.
With the children looking on, a not entirely surprised Ms Newport said, "of course".
Dr Smith said he wanted the children to be there when he wrote the message so they felt included.
Dr Smith was married to Cyndy Smith for 20 years and Ms Newport was married to Vergne Wilson for 10 years.
Dr Smith said he and Newport share "really good" relationships with their former spouses.
The couple first met over a decade ago through their connections to the AFS international exchange programme when Dr Smith was the MP for Tasman and Ms Newport was a university student.
Their paths crossed again four years ago through Dr Smith's constituency work.
Coincidentally, both their marriages broke up in late 2005.
"Both of us were devastated by our marriage breakdowns," The NZPA quoted Newport, as saying.