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Thread: Tauranga - can anyone tell me about life there, not just the suburbs of choice

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Tauranga, Bay of Plenty
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    996

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    The name of the game is to try it......rent somewhere first and dont even think about buying until you get the full feel of the place. Its NZ you can always try somewhere else if its not for you :-)

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    USA
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    There are lots of things we love about Tauranga, especially since we lived in Wellington for 4 months when we first got here, and we really disliked the weather there (although we loved the museums and dramatic landscape).

    Tauranga has a very different feel weather-wise, and the beach at Mt Maunganui is amazing. But be advised there isn't that much to do culture-wise here (there are things to do, but once you have done them a couple times each, it's like, "Now what?")

    Still, overall we have been happy with our choice to live here, I just wouldn't advise coming without a job or a lot of money in the bank. I've heard over and over from people who live here that this is the one place in NZ where people move to without work lined up and spend years trying to get work (OH is living proof of this).

    As for broadband, this is a long story but I'll tell it because it might help someone else. We live in Papamoa Beach just outside of Tauranga city in a neighborhood that is about 10 years old. The realtor assured us broadband was available here. We arranged to have our Wellington service transferred here, we had to buy a new router because I left the other one with my girls in Welly, we paid for transfer of service, got billed, but we could never get online. We spent weeks making phone calls trying to sort out why we couldn't connect. It was very hard being in a new country without internet service. We had to go to the local coffee shop and purchase their wireless service one hour at a time to do research and look for job postings!

    We made many, many calls to our internet provider and they swore they could see that we were "online". We finally had a technician come out to look at our phone line connection outside the house, and he told us were were NOT wired appropriately for broadband--therefore we could not get broadband at this house (as, apparently, many people in this neighborhood could not). He advised we call Telecom because it was up to them to set us up.

    We were told by Telecom that we could not get broadband here because there were "no more spaces available" for this area and that we could be put on a waiting list. The lady on the phone described it like a parking lot (totally odd to me)--she said the parking lot is full and until a car leaves, we could not get a space.

    Hmmm...so after checking out this info from a few different people at Telecom (and after two months living here with no internet unless we agreed to dial up, which we did not want) we finally found EOL (enter net online) and --I am not making this up--they told us to go outside our house, stand on a ladder, and if we could see Papamoa Hill and the satellite antennae there, then we would be good candidates for their "wireless" service. So they put an antennae on our roof and it communicates with the one on Papamoa Hill. It's not the fastest internet service but it's better than dial up and the folks who work there are super nice.

    Like most folks in NZ, we are charged by how many Gigs we use.

    Anyway, just be aware that while the lure of the simple life is a great one, sometimes this can bring about big challenges and frustrations where technology is concerned.

    Hope that helps.

    Cjchris
    Last edited by CjChris; 7th November 2009 at 06:46 AM.

  3. #13
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    Feb 2008
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    Tauranga (ex Manchester, UK)
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    112

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    Quote Originally Posted by CjChris View Post
    As for broadband, this is a long story but I'll tell it because it might help someone else. We live in Papamoa Beach just outside of Tauranga city in a neighborhood that is about 10 years old. The realtor assured us broadband was available here.
    Hi we also live in Papamoa Beach and had no problems whatsoever with getting broadband. Having said that I knew the girl that lived in the house before us and knew she had broadband, so maybe that's a good question to ask previous tenants before committing to a house?

  4. #14
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    Jan 2007
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    USA=>Welly=>BoP=>USA
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    It depends on which neighborhood you're in. Some are fine, others (like ours) don't even have the hardware in the cabinets to provide the service. The story gets compounded by people who are on dialup and think it's broadband!!

    In my dealings with providers they kept telling me that we were on a waiting list, and the tech finally told me the hardware wasn't there. I asked the customer service rep and was told, "We're not allowed to tell you that. We're to tell you that you'll be put on the waiting list." Truth is stranger than fiction!!

    That was also the subject of a feature article in one of the weekly rags they shove in Papamoa mailboxes ... came out a little over a year ago.


    As for the wireless service... There are at least three repeaters serving Papamoa. One is at the campground, one is on top of Palm Beach Resort...or whatever the place across from Fashion Island is called, and the one on the hill with the radio tower toward Welcome Bay. You apparently get the best reception if you have direct line of site with the one near fashion Island. We don't, so we use the one on the hill.

    Cheers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunstar View Post
    Hi we also live in Papamoa Beach and had no problems whatsoever with getting broadband. Having said that I knew the girl that lived in the house before us and knew she had broadband, so maybe that's a good question to ask previous tenants before committing to a house?

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Papamoa
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    361

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    We live in Papamoa and had no problems getting internet. We decided to live here because of the high percentage of sunny days, the outdoor recreation available and the general lifestyle. I work in Tauranga and it takes about 20 minutes for me to get to work. Having lived in LA for 20 years it is an easy commute. With that said I would say that Tauranga has not done a great job keeping up with its infrastructure needs but it is now addressing it better.

    The local economy is driven by several factors, tourism and the port being two large ones. It is the fastest growing city in New Zealand right now with a population of about 110k. It does have a reputation for being "$10 Tauranga" in that wages are not that great. But if you already have a job with a decent salary you are ahead of the game.

    We have been here about 18 months I know a fair number of people through work so for example went to the Business Awards dinner last night and knew a fair number of people but still plenty more to meet.

    If you want to know more about the economic drivers you can contact the Chamber of Commerce which is very active here as well as Priority One.

    I would agree with the culture comment...but would also say that I've lived in a lot of places with a lot of culture and never seemed to take advantage because of the hassle of getting there etc. Auckland is an easy drive from here so you can always pop up there for a week....

    We also looked at Nelson but are very happy with our choice here....

  6. #16
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    Jun 2009
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    Manchester > Now Tauranga
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    Just a brief one. I've been reading, but been dashing around this week so not had a lot of time to post, (especially as on my phone it's a pain - too old to type on a numeric phone keyboard ).

    Thank you all so very much. Some interesting observations that confirm / change / add to the thoughts we had.

    Regarding the fastest growing city part, is there any info on how big the plan is to grow to? As for the infrastructure, well that's why I'm being asked to consider it, as I'm in transport design.

    Apologies if this sends people into fits of laughter at the mere thought, but are there offices to rent where someone can take just a single desk? Again, thinking about my wife so if she's 'homeworking' then she can actually get some contact with other people, build a network, but possibly have access to the comms kit she needs and share the cost with other remote workers? Is that happening in NZ yet?

  7. #17
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    Oct 2005
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    Papamoa
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    361

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    There is a chance that I might have some space available to rent to your wife in Tauranga and I think there are a few other places perhaps out there. As for planned growth, best place to check would probably be City Council and Priority One....but personally I am glad to hear they are looking at a transport planner! Good luck.

  8. #18
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    Jun 2009
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    Manchester > Now Tauranga
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    Cheers, few months off, but good to hear that it's an option to consider.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mt Maunganui. Bay of Plenty NZ
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    56

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    We love it in the Bay of Plenty we live in the Mount.... all I can say is its the place for us. Check out our blog http://thejezzers.blogspot.com. Husband works in IT and broadband is better than in the UK. Excellent.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    London to Tauranga (Oct 09)
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    28

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJezzers View Post
    We love it in the Bay of Plenty we live in the Mount.... all I can say is its the place for us. Check out our blog http://thejezzers.blogspot.com. Husband works in IT and broadband is better than in the UK. Excellent.
    Wow, I wish I could say the same! I moved from London to Tauranga a month ago. In London I was paying 12 per month for a 24Mb connection with no data limits (actual download speed was about 1.8Mb). Here in Bethlehem I pay $140NZD per month for 50Gb capped service with download speed of around 400k (sob!). I run a web design company and work from home, so getting a decent broadband connection was essential and I had been forewarned it would be expensive.

    That aside, Tauranga is a lovely spot. It has a decent climate, it's well positioned for getting to Auckland, Coromandel and the central plateau, and it has all the amenities of a city but is still safe and clean. There is a lot of development going on though such as the huge subdivision called Tauriko which is going up at the moment. Houses are almost on top of each other. It depends what you're after: my sister looked around it and loved it, but ultimately I'd like to be out of the suburbs and get a bit more land and physical distance from neighbours. Be warned real estate is expensive and Tauranga has the worst home affordability index in NZ (tucked away at the bottom of this article).

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