Tauranga Welcomes You!

Tauranga Welcomes You!

Kiwi Expats Blog


Laura Murphy | London to Tauranga in the midst of Covid 19
24 June 2021
Laura Murphy | London to Tauranga in the midst of Covid 19

We caught up with Laura Murphy a returning kiwi from London to see how she is settling back into life in Tauranga. 

Laura, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey so far?

I grew up in Tauranga, attending Otumoetai College before moving to Wellington to study law. After a few years spent in Wellington I made the big move to London. I spent three years living and working in London and spending a lot of time zipping in and out of the UK on 1am Ryan Air flights to obscure European cities.

“Since we arrived home I have gotten married and bought a house with my husband. So it’s fair to say my life looks very different to what it did a year ago, when I was living with four other people in a small three bedroom London apartment with no outdoor area!”

Can you share with us your brief career story?

My career has been relatively diverse. While at university I worked doing part time administrative work at Wellington City Council in their consents team which was a great way to get some experience working in an office. This is where my initial interest in the Resource Management Act was sparked. After university, I worked as a legal advisor for a government project team responsible for constructing and delivering the Christchurch Justice and Emergency Precinct. After a few years I moved to London and did a very random job for six months working in regulation, assessing whether complaints against dentists were worthy of prosecution. I was then employed by London Borough of Camden in their in-house legal team specialising in planning which I absolutely loved. I knew I wanted to stay in planning law (or RMA law as it is called in New Zealand), so when the job in the Resource Managament Act (RMA) team at Holland Beckett Law came up I knew it was exactly what I was looking for!

"During the first Covid lockdown in London I was lucky enough to be offered a role at Holland Beckett Law. After having wanted to return home for a while I jumped at the opportunity to live back in Tauranga and escape lockdown, albeit via a two week managed isolation stay in Rotorua."

 

"I love the beach, spending time with my family and friends and really, I have never imagined settling down anywhere else. I don’t think you can find a better place to live than Tauranga, and I’m lucky enough that my husband is also from here so I didn’t have to have the battle (which I would have won anyway) over whose hometown to live in".

Can you describe your experience of finding work in Tauranga especially during Covid-19?

We first decided to make the move home in March 2020. I thought there was a good chance that I would have to work in Auckland, at least when we first moved home given there aren’t that many jobs in RMA law in Tauranga. Lucky for me Holland Beckett had a perfect position for me.

“I applied and interviewed via zoom from my living room in Wapping. Next thing you know our flights are booked, our life is in boxes on a ship and we’re leaving London. It definitely felt like it was meant to be!”

What does your role at Holland Beckett Law involve?

I am a Resource Management Act (RMA) lawyer which means advising on a wide range of matters including resource consent applications, regional and district plans and general local government matters. Recently I have spent quite a bit of time travelling to Blenheim to attend Environment Court mediation on behalf of one of our clients. I love that the work is very diverse, and we represent clients from around New Zealand. It is an interesting time to be working in this area given the reforms to the RMA that will be occurring over the next couple of years, as well as recent developments such as the government’s freshwater reforms.

What advice would you give to other New Zealanders who may be looking at coming home and would you recommend Tauranga as a place for them to consider?

In London people often say that you wouldn’t want to move directly from a place as big as London to Tauranga. These comments had left me a bit worried about how I would find the ‘slower’ pace of life when moving home. My advice would be to ignore that, my lifestyle is different to what it was in London but I’m able to enjoy so many great things that I missed while being away. I love being close to the beach, being able to spend time with friends and family and being able to cycle to work in 15 minutes rather than spending 45 minutes on the tube. Certainly Tauranga is facing some challenges at the moment, but that’s why it is awesome to be living here now to be a part of the change to create an even brighter and thriving city. As a young preofessional I have had some great opportuntiies to grow my career here. I am currently a young professional director on the board of Priority One which is the local Economic Developemnt Agency, as a city Tauranga is commited to creating a diverse employment cutlure and growing the next generation of leaders. 

“The growing number of events and festivals and the great food scene means there is more to do here than you would think.”

 

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

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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