Tauranga Welcomes You!

Tauranga Welcomes You!

Kiwi Expats Blog

Melbourne to Tauranga - A Lawyer's Story
2 July 2013

Everything changed when the puppy came along.

Kiwi gal, Tanya Drummond and her Aussie partner Mark, loved their fast-paced Melbourne life.  For Tanya, working as a corporate lawyer for a large firm was demanding but rewarding, and Melbourne offered plenty of opportunities for playing hard as well as working hard.

But adding a puppy to the mix suddenly changed the dynamic, even the priorities - especially as they both knew that if they were starting to make room in their lives for a cute four-legged dependent, then it was probably time to think about having kids…

We caught up with Tanya to hear the story of their move from Melbourne to Tauranga in 2009, and how the change has impacted both her career and her personal life.

Tanya, what was your law career like in Melbourne?

I worked for two large firms in Melbourne. Both international firms, both fantastic places to work with lots of amazing career opportunities and lots of great work. But the one thing I did find is that the hours were very demanding, the work was very demanding and it was all encompassing.  I knew that if I was going to have a family – I wasn’t going to do it in a big firm environment like I was in.  We needed a change of lifestyle, something that was more family friendly.  New Zealand was suddenly on the cards…

Why did you choose Tauranga as your place to settle?

Tauranga was actually a process of elimination!  It was a place that we visited when we came over to see my family and we fell in love with it immediately.

We did decide that if we were going to move to New Zealand we wouldn’t move to a big city. We might as well stay in Melbourne if we wanted a big city and a long commute. We wanted to be near the water.  We wanted a place where we could afford a house with a nice plot of land and also a place where we could afford to live without me having to work full-time. And all those opportunities existed in Tauranga - plus it’s a great beach so here we are!

How did you find a job when you got to Tauranga?

When we first came back to Tauranga – I didn’t actually want to continue as a corporate lawyer but I did want to be involved in law in some shape.

I spoke to a recruiter about what possibilities there were within firms in Tauranga and I actually had quite a bit of success. Mackenzie Elvin Barristers & Solicitors was the first place that I interviewed and I loved the family friendly ethos that they have here.  Mackenzie Elvin were looking at developing the law firm and including things like pro-bono committees, developing their practice modules etc. and I was able to help with that because of my experience in big firms.  So I actually came in as a consultant for a few hours a week and gradually came back to being a lawyer!

What do you enjoy about being a lawyer in Tauranga?

I would definitely describe my career in Tauranga as a rewarding career. I enjoy the face to face contact with my clients. I enjoy the work that I do. In a small place like Tauranga you talk to the clients on a daily basis – they come in to see you, you see them at the supermarket! You have more of a real relationship with your clients and I really value that.

Although I didn’t move to Tauranga specifically to enhance my legal career, I do know a lot of people that have moved to small centres because there are some amazing lawyers in places like Tauranga. In our firm alone, we have Fiona Mackenzie, who is one of New Zealand’s top family lawyers and family lawyers across Australia and New Zealand would love to work with her. So there is definitely that calibre of lawyer in small-town New Zealand.

So….did the puppy end up being a stepping stone to having kids?

Yes!  First we added a second dog, but since moving back to Tauranga, wehave had two little girls, and it’s been fantastic being able to juggle my family life and my career.

Almost without meaning to we have sort of stumbled into the classic Kiwi dream. We now have a house with numerous fruit trees, including kiwi fruit and avocadoes. We live within a ten minute walk of the beach, or the water and we have a beautiful park next door. We have lots of outdoor activities that we can enjoy which we really value and love.

I go through runs with the dogs through a beautiful, almost forest like environment that takes me two minutes to drive to from my house. So it really is the best of both worlds from our point of view. I love the fact that the children can go outside and pick their own oranges and their own kiwifruit and their own avocadoes from right outside our backdoor.

What advice would you give to Kiwi expat professionals who are thinking of making Tauranga their next city?

If I was to give anyone advice to anyone looking at coming back to New Zealand or specifically, a place like Tauranga it would be to get in touch with a group like Priority One or someone who knows the people in the area. I also think with a small place like Tauranga it’s good to be here on the ground and meet and talk to people face to face and you’d be surprised how many opportunities come up.

We have definitely found that Tauranga has afforded us a rewarding career and an amazing lifestyle and it would be very hard for us now to leave.


Gets You Thinking Doesn't It?

No-one can tell you when you're ready for a change of lifestyle...but when you are, we'd love to have you in Tauranga!

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Meet Kathryn Overall
Explore www.wishyouwereworkinghere.co.nz

Tauranga Welcomes You

Tauranga Welcomes You


Ready for a better work/life balance in a vibrant, growing, sea-side city?

We'd love to have you in Tauranga!


Tauranga Welcomes You

Tauranga Welcomes You


Ready for a better work/life balance in a vibrant, growing, sea-side city?

We'd love to have you in Tauranga!


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