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Thread: Taranaki

  1. #1
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    Dec 2016
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    Default Taranaki

    Hellow Everyone!

    We have recently granted NZ residence visa under SMC. I am Instrument & Control Systems Engineer and have been working in Oil & Gas and Petrochemicals industry throughout my career. We have decided to move to Taranaki since it is a place where I can secure my job easily. This region has more engineering companies & industry related to my past work experiences.

    My wife is textile engineer, my elder daughter is 5 years old and younger one is about to 4. We want to know few things about this city like what is the best place to live in this city in terms of accessibility, availability and cost of living. Availability of social group in Taranaki or could anyone advise on any clubs that would be good to make contact with to start making friends?

  2. #2
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    looking advice!!

  3. #3
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    Nov 2004
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    I have limited information on this, but we are also potentially interested in Taranaki, and recently visited for a couple of days. We stayed in the central part of New Plymouth and found it very agreeable, with a cluster of nice businesses and restaurants, as well as wonderful opportunities to easily get into nature. Our AirBnb host was kind to drive us around town to look at a couple of areas, and we liked the look of Spotswood. It's on the edge of town but still very close to downtown since New Plymouth is pretty small. The houses were newer and on bigger lots, very residential but with a school and new grocery store quite handy.

    There was an adjoining neighborhood that was between Spotswood and downtown that she said wasn't nearly as nice and didn't have good resale value because of a history of Agent Orange being made there for the Vietnam war.
    http://archive.indymedia.org.nz/arti...-plymouth.html
    She seemed to think the contamination was confined to the area, here reported as "Paritutu." She's been living in town for 40 years, and that was the only bad mark she had to say, otherwise very interested in welcoming us as potential homebuyers in the area.

    We have found a very "open arms" attitude so far among the Kiwis. Fingers crossed we get to stay!

    There's also a string of charming seaside towns, Oakura is 20 mins away and looks like it has a fantastic school.

  4. #4
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    Thanks Juniper for your detailed response. Meantime I talked to several guys who are living in New Plymouth and some of them are in Auckland. They also game me positive feedback about this city in terms of living cost, job opportunities and life style.

  5. #5
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    Great :-) One thing I did notice about the restaurants was that it was harder to find mid-range options. Although NZ in general does seem to have more expensive food, there were fewer things in downtown New Plymouth like kebab shops. There was fast food on the street with all the grocery stores, or somewhat upscale options on the street with all the cafes and shops. Turquoise was the closest fit, close to the Len Lye art centre, and it was indeed a kebab place, albeit a very nice one with tons of seating.

  6. #6
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    I visited Taranaki and New Plymouth two weeks ago, and been there 3 times now as I have my relatives, they are in there into restaurants and electrical trade.
    The place is lovely, less cost of living ( compared to AKL). U get a nice house for much much cheaper than AKL (sometimes rent includes power or so). I liked the place than AKL. Rental is cheap and thats what attracted me a lot, and I heard that no need to pay for water.

    The only downside is you need to take another flight to Taranaki from AKL or Welly, but it is worth it.

  7. #7
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    Thanks farfaraway!

  8. #8
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    We are trying out New Plymouth for two months to see how we like it. Despite being here at the beginning of winter, we have a positive impression so far! Our earlier weekend visit in autumn had perfect weather for biking along the ocean, but we haven't had a chance to do that again. There have been some sparkling sunshiny days, but with the kids enrolled in school and our house up in the hilly suburbs, we haven't found the time. The weather has been quite variable, with some impressive storms broken up with truly crystalline sun, sometimes on the same day. Many glorious rainbows. The mountain is really gorgeous, it was hiding in clouds for our first week but is now capped with snow. The ocean has pretty tame breakers, at the bottom of a high boulder wall. The black sand beaches are really pretty for when it warms up.

    The downtown is surprisingly hip and stylish, with pockets of street art/murals that are quite intentional and lovely (you may miss them if you only walk down the main strip, Devon St, but near the library is a cute plaza). The library/museum is both gorgeous and a column of the community, and they host Tuesday morning gatherings for migrant women that are very well attended. I feel hooked into the community, even as a visitor. They have started a migrant mens' group at another location every other week, in the evening. Nationalities include many different Europeans, Indian, Thai, a couple other Americans, and the most recent addition is from Mozambique. The gas/oil industry still brings in several of them, but there's a diversity of professions. Despite the news of no new permits, the talk is that not much will change for a few decades, although Taranaki is actively thinking about how to pivot to alternative energy or other sectors. The council is big on lifestyle improvements for residents (i.e. public use spaces).

    My husband has found a group for avid board gamers, his favorite hobby. There also seem to be fairly active scenes for both various arts and sustainable living, and probably many more subcultures. It's still something of a sleepy, provincial town, but New Plymouth is also the cultural hub for the whole region, so they have a small representation of many things. There is a bit of a "big fish small pond" thing as well, although that's probably true anywhere outside of the three main cities. For example I am thinking of teaching bellydance since I may be more skilled than the teachers here, having had long exposure to a bustling scene in California.

    Another great resource we found is a coworking space downtown, manifold.co.nz which has been great for my husband to socialize and network instead of always working at home, and the families sometimes grab food together on Friday after work.

    In comparison to our two month stay in Nelson, I would say that one of the main differences is that New Plymouth feels newer and hungrier, maybe trying harder to make you like it. Everyone already likes Nelson :-) NP also is a bit grander in the natural beauty, at least from the city center. Pukekura Park is a gem as well, although we've only seen the playground so far, it's supposed to be extensive and well-kept. I would like to see the festival of lights or WOMAD here sometime.

    I've also spent a little time in Oakura, the "surf town." It's tiny and cute, neighborly feeling in the little cafe, and not too far from Spotswood schools at the edge of New Plymouth if the local one is too little for you. Spotswood Primary was the only one that would accept visiting students, and doesn't seem to have a zone, either. Some kids apparently drive in from outlying areas due to bullying in the rural schools... We have quite a positive impression of the primary so far.
    Last edited by Juniper; 8th June 2018 at 12:12 AM.

  9. #9
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    Are you actively job-hunting now?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JandM View Post
    Are you actively job-hunting now?
    Kind of :-) He has started a month-long contract with the multinational company that has an Auckland branch. He's focused on aceing that, and has also met with a local startup that's definitely interested, although it remains to be seen if either of them will meet INZ criteria for sustainable employment (per our other thread). I think we should get at least one more iron in the fire.

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