Tauranga Welcomes You!

Tauranga Welcomes You!

Kiwi Immigrants Blog

The Lure of Tauranga ~ Australian Andrew Friedlieb's Sea-Change Story
28 August 2017
The Lure of Tauranga ~ Australian Andrew Friedlieb's Sea-Change Story

After growing up 500 km inland in rural Australia, recent migrant, Andrew Friedlieb, is now revelling in the Bay of Plenty’s endless supply of beautiful beaches.

New Zealand wasn’t high on his travel list until Andrew met his wife at a fancy dress party in Sydney in 2008. “Helen was a Kiwi dressed as a geisha in Australia – how could I resist?” The Sydney-based couple spent plenty of time vacationing in New Zealand’s top destinations but it wasn’t until earlier this year that Andrew, Helen and their daughter, Sadie, crossed the ditch for good.

Andrew is putting his experience in the beverage industry to good use in Tauranga working as the commercial manager at Pure Bottling. The family, who is expecting their second child any day now, loves the smaller city size and beach-friendly lifestyle that Tauranga offers.

What brought your family to Tauranga?

Even though I'm Australian and Helen is from Wellington, we were drawn to Tauranga. Friends had moved here from London and Wellington and love it. Neither of us grew up in large cities, so Tauranga's size and the idea of raising a family here really appealed. We are both warm weather creatures, so Welly was never a real option, and after checking out a number of places across Australia and New Zealand, Tauranga felt like the best fit.

Someone also told me Tauranga was New Zealand’s Byron Bay which got me pretty excited!

What was your experience of looking for work in Tauranga?

There are a lot of opportunities here but it is a very network driven town. I have a few friends here who seem to be movers and shakers and got me in touch with some great people. I secured a job before leaving Sydney; there was a lot of emailing and networking and a few in-person visits to get myself in front of the right people. After six to nine months of communicating, I got an offer from Pure Bottling.

Tell us about your role at Pure Bottling.

As commercial manager, my primary role is to work with our clients (like Karma Cola, East Imperial and Foodstuffs) to create beverages that customers love. I am also creating some of our own brands to distribute within New Zealand and internationally, so stay tuned!

Pure Bottling has experienced rapid growth. We did six million bottles last year and are on track to do more than sixteen million over the next twelve months. It is a hectic, fast-paced environment but I love working across all departments and I especially love our customers. We have doubled in staff in the past six months and it is great bringing new people on board to be part of the ride.

How does this role compare to your experience in this industry in Australia?

I spent fifteen years in the Australian food and beverage industry working across sales, procurement and innovation. I learnt many lessons at global giant Nestle working on brands including Nescafe, Maggi and Milo. I then joined a team to create Australia’s leading juice brand, nudie.

Every role is different and comes with its own pros and cons, but it all comes back to relationships. I find that if you nurture these and surround yourself with great, like-minded people, you achieve great things. I am all for challenging each other and celebrating success.

What did you expect moving to Tauranga would mean for your career?

I was a little concerned that being in a smaller city would make it difficult to find a role that suited my skill set. But after a few months of getting to know the lay of the land, I quickly realised that there is a lot going on here; there are arguably more opportunities here than in bigger centres. It feels like the region is on a tremendous growth curve across a number of industries which drags many parallel industries along with it.

What connections have you had with Priority One?

Priority One is a really unique organisation – I haven’t seen anything like it before. I expected it to be a stuffy government-run organisation but they weren’t like this at all. They gave me some great leads and very beneficial contacts.

How much time had you spent in New Zealand before moving here?

I remember a family trip to the Bay of Islands as a young boy to attend a wedding and had had a few business trips to Auckland over the years, but I hadn't spent much time here before Helen. Within a few years of meeting, we had spent weeks in the Coromandel, driven up and down the North Island and trekked Abel Tasman.

What do you love about living in Tauranga?

It is a great size for us and the accessibility to so many natural wonders is brilliant. From beach to mountains, rapids to lakes, everything is on our doorstep. I love anything in the water and whilst the waves are a little variable, the beach is certainly less crowded than what I’m used to. 

We enjoy exploring new places together as a family and getting to spend quality time together in a caring, family environment. There’s a real community among families and we have met some great family friends. We love the idea of our kids walking to school with their pals from the neighbourhood.

The proximity to Auckland is also important, as it is taking a bit of time to adjust to a smaller city.

What has moving to Tauranga meant…

For your work/life balance?

This has always been a focus for us so moving here hasn’t changed things too dramatically on that front, but it certainly means we spend less time driving through traffic!

For your career?

I have been lucky to land a great role with loads of opportunity. Moving to a smaller organisation has seen a few adjustments but ‘brand New Zealand’ is a fantastic platform from which to launch products.

For your relationships?

I have made some really good friends here and really lean on my wife for everything. I do miss family and friends back home but Tauranga is a pretty great place to visit so we have guests often!


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. 

3. Have a story to share? We love sharing your sea-change or homecoming stories. Email me at kathryn@priorityone.co.nz to start a conversation.

Meet Kathryn Overall
Explore www.wishyouwereworkinghere.co.nz


Looking for work in Tauranga?

Send me your CV and a 100 word bio and we will send it out to local businesess who are on the lookout for good people. Priority One is not a recruitment agency, but as the economic development agency for the region we seek to make connections for people where we can. There is no charge for this service.

Email me at annie@priorityone.co.nz.

Annie Hill | Priority One
Communications/Project Manager

Contact Priority One

Contact Priority One

Need help?

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


Visit us on

Newsletter Signup

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!


You Might Also Like

Blog Sample 1

Argentina to Tauranga - IT Career + Lifestyle

"This is a wonderful city, the commute times are great and once you settle you’ll realise there’s more here than you initially thought. I’m positive that your work-life balance will improve."


Continue Reading

Blog Sample 2

Why I Love the Tauranga Community

"As a Muslim woman, experiencing the local community response to the Christchurch mosque shootings was a significant moment for me. I found Tauranga to be an amazing place at that time."

Continue Reading

Blog Sample 3

From Q Theatre in Auckland to Baycourt in Tauranga

"I was excited by the idea of moving to a city going through such rapid growth. I was aware that Baycourt was thriving but I didn’t realise how strong the community arts sector was."

Continue Reading