Tauranga Welcomes You!

Tauranga Welcomes You!

Kiwi Expats Blog


The Baby Question - UK vs NZ
30 October 2013

BY KATHRYN OVERALL

Chris and Emma van de Molen met at the University of Waikato when they were both 19.  

After graduating, Chris with a Bachelor of Computer Science, and Emma with a Bachelor of Communications, they decided to follow in the steps of thousands of other Kiwis before them and headed to London to gain work experience, save money and travel.

“We were living in Greenwich for most of our time there,” says Chris.  “It was a lovely area and we really enjoyed it there. London is a great city with a lot going on and we found that we could fit into it really well.”

The plan was to stay for 18 months and then come back to New Zealand.

They did come back for a visit to Tauranga to get married, but quickly setled back into London town and before they knew it, five years had gone by!

Today, you’ll find them happily settled back in Taurnaga, New Zealand.So, what was it that made them decide to move home?  Why did they choose Tauranga?  And what was it like finding work and settling in?

Those are good questions.  Let’s ask them!

Chris: "One of the things that was always going to bring us back is when we wanted to start a family. We knew that we didn't want to bring kids up in London. You know it's a great place when you’ve just got yourselves and you’re feeling free - but raising kids in apartments was never going to be us.

We had a number of friends in the UK who's decided that they wanted to have the kids there so that they could get passports and stay a bit longer, but without a support network I think people really can struggle over there."

Emma:  “Also, I think we were ready for the move for ourselves as individuals. While we were in England we did work really hard – long hours, and sometimes with little thanks. You get to the point when you think to yourself, 'hang on a minute’ - I do want more work-life balance. Being here is not only good for our future family but good for us as individuals as well."

Why did you choose to settle in Tauranga? 

Chris: “The location has many attractions - it is a lovely city. Emma grew up here and I grew up in Hamilton so we knew it fairly well. There are great beaches. There are neat parks, walks and things. It has got a bit of everything.”

Emma: “For me coming back it was really interesting to see how much vibrancy has come back to the city. It doesn’t have that retirement village stereotypical image that it had when I left as a teenager. The infrastructure has improved so much since I have been away and there are more job opportunities for people now at various different stages in their careers.  It feels as if there's more life to the city."

What was your experiene of finding work in Taurana? 

Chris: “I went through the whole process of canvassing for jobs before leaving the UK. I went to the job seeking sites but it wasn’t looking very promising.  But we had made the decision that we wanted to go to Tauranga and it was just a case of moving there and finding what we could work wise. But as it turned out, I had a job offer within about two weeks of moving here.  I found that a lot of places don't actually advertise on job sites, they seem to rely more on the recruitment agents locally on the ground. So it looks a lot worse than what it really is.

When I got here I handed my CV into a couple of agencies and they pretty much straight away had a list of a couple of things that I could put in for. Obviously that oversees experience was a real plus on the CV.  I worked with Personnel Resources and they were great.

There are plenty of jobs and probably most jobs are not advertised. There is actually a lot to be found once you get into the city and find out what is there. Just get involved.

Emma: “I found work within about five weeks which felt like an eternity for me at the time. I just picked up some contract work through a recruitment agency and then I used that as opportunity to earn some money and look for a permanent position. I don't think I had a gap between that contract and starting my role that I'm currently in at Envirohub. So that worked out really well. I definitely recommend temp work as an interim measure for anyone in a field that isn’t as focused as software development like Chris!"


What advice would you give to Kiwi expats who are thinking of moving home? 

Chris: “I would recommend Taraunga for sure. I think it's a great city. There is a lot going for New Zealand. There is always something to gripe about no matter where you are I suppose but it is a great place. If you looking to raise a family then for us it was a no-brainer. Bring back your knowledge - I think it is good to have it back here.

Emma: “The other thing that's been really useful is getting involved with theYoung Professionals Network, and the Sustainable Business Network has been great for me in my field. It gives you the opportunity to have regular catch-ups with people in that sector and develop a range of different contacts.”

Chris: “Yes, that was one of the best things that we did  - getting involved in those networks straight away.  We recommend it!”

 

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!

1. Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TaurangaWelcomesYou

2. Subscribe to our montly e-newsletter to receive stories just like this one about people who have already made the big move you are thinking of making. 

Meet Kathryn Overall
Explore www.wishyouwereworkinghere.co.nz

Tauranga Welcomes You

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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Contact Annie

Contact Annie

Need help? Contact Annie

Send us your 100 word bio and we will send it out to local businesses who are on the lookout for good people! annie@priorityone.co.nz

Tauranga Welcomes You

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!

READ MORE

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About Kathryn

About Kathryn

ABOUT KATHRYN

Kathryn Overall is the friendly voice behind the 'Wish You Were Working Here' stories and Facebook posts.  Each month she chats with returned Kiwi expats,  Auckland imports and New Zealand immigrants who have moved to Tauranga, collecting their stories and advice to share with you. 


CLICK HERE to read her own story of reluctant homecoming!

 

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