Life in Tauranga, New Zealand

What were your reasons for emigrating?

I wanted to travel. I’d always said I would go overseas but had never got around to it. My friends at work were leaving to pursue extended holidays or work in Dubai and I thought it was time I got my stuff together and followed my dream. I was only going to be away for 12 months but five years on I’m still here.

Name: Alison King
Age: 31
Occupation: Journalist
Number Emigrating: 1
Emigrated from: Stratford-on-Avon, UK
Moved to: Tauranga
Daily Commute Time: 15 minutes by car 35 mins bike
What were your reasons for choosing New Zealand?

I had been here for holidays a couple of times and really loved it. I liked the vast open spaces, lower population base and the opportunity to be outdoors and partake in adventurous activities.

View Larger Map
Tauranga, Bay Of Plenty
What differences have you noticed between your NZ town and your home town?

I live on the outskirts of Tauranga where my neighbours are kiwifruit or avocado growers. They’re not so close that I can hear them through the wall (we’ve mostly detached housing over here). I have a big back garden and two acres of paddock. There aren’t many differences between Tauranga and Stratford other than Stratford has more history and Tauranga more shops (but the population is very different, there are 106,000 here but it doesn’t feel like it).

What do you like best about New Zealand?

I like being able to escape into the great outdoors and not see anyone else. We have a big back yard where we can go for long tramps, go to secluded beaches, or hang out at a cafe if we want. There is so much choice and so many awesome places within a small area.

What don’t you like about New Zealand?

I don’t like how it is expensive to go on holiday, even domestic flights can be quite pricey so we (my Kiwi husband and I) limit ourselves to a couple of long weekends a year. I also don’t like the chocolate – it’s not as tasty as UK Cadburys, and I can’t get jaffa cakes. The rail network is also pretty much non existent.

What do you miss from your home country?

Cadbury’s chocolate, jaffa cafes, walkers sensations, the rail network (how you can get to just about anywhere by public transport).

How easily did you find work in New Zealand?

Very easily. I was here backpacking for a month before I started applying for jobs. I applied for a job via the Stuff website on a Friday afternoon. The following Tuesday I was offered an interview for the Friday. Went along and by the following Tuesday was offered and accepted the job. I started two weeks later once I’d finished a bus trip. I could work anywhere that had a newspaper and I wanted to get out of the cities so I was stoked to end up on the Coromandel Peninsula. I’m now in Tauranga on a daily newspaper.

How does your working life in New Zealand compare with your previous work experiences?

I feel less stressed even though my working environment now is essentially the same as what I left five years ago. Maybe it’s because I have reassessed my priorities and have more outside interests as a result of coming here. Pre NZ I would work as many hours as were demanded of me and would only go to the gym sporadically. Here I have a training regime for triathlon so work fits in with my training schedule.

How does your standard of living in New Zealand compare with your previous country?

Better. I feel I have more disposable income and no debts. I also have more free time and more flexible working hours (eg I can start earlier or later depending on my diary).

How does your quality of life now compare with your previous country?

Much better. Before I was stressed, living month to month. I worked three jobs to get over here. I love my life now. I found love over here (totally unexpected) and am now happily married. I compete in triathlons, am much fitter than before and have much better health as a result.

Do you have any other personal experiences or observations that would be useful for people considering immigrating to New Zealand?

Do your research – come here on holiday first to make sure it is really where you want to be. Research what job opportunities there are and work out if you would be better off by making the move – and where you would be best suited to live. (Queesntown is a great place but mostly hospitality industry whereas Wellington is financial/political, Auckland a big metropolis and Tauranga a bit most things). Holidays can give you rose-tinted views.

Should I Move to New Zealand?

8 must-knows before you even THINK about moving to New Zealand

Read more UK to NZ Reviews

Hawke’s Bay – Ruth
North Shore, Auckland – Alison
Franklin District, Auckland – Alison and Matt
Christchurch – James
Invercargill – The Hart Family
Invercargill – Kat and Bob
Tauranga – Kymberley
Tauranga – Dianne and Paul
Wellington – Richard and Olivia
Wellington – Stephen

Would you like to share your own experiences of living in New Zealand? You can do this at My Story. Or you can read more personal experiences.

What say you?
Please do not ask us for immigration/visa advice - we cannot respond to such requests.