Tauranga Welcomes You!

Tauranga Welcomes You!

Kiwi Immigrants Blog

Jenny Rudd on Unique Upbringings, Immigration and Owning UNO. Magazine
15 December 2017
Jenny Rudd on Unique Upbringings, Immigration and Owning UNO. Magazine

Editing and co-owning the exceptional UNO. Magazine is no small feat, but Jenny Rudd is perfect for the job.

An Englishwoman who has lived in Tauranga for a decade, Jenny is passionate about her adopted hometown and loves sharing this passion within the glossy pages of UNO.

“UNO. is resolutely celebratory. When you read it, you walk away thinking, ‘hell yeah! I live here too with all these brilliant people!’ Whether you are a reader or the subject of a feature, everything in our pages makes you feel good and proud to be in the Bay.”

With a unique upbringing and a penchant for thinking outside the square, it’s no wonder that Jenny has gone from a young woman repeatedly pitching what she calls 'crap ideas' to the magazine, to being the magazine’s editor and co-owner. We caught up with Jenny to hear about her move to Tauranga ten years ago and how she has come to find herself in the centre of Tauranga's arts and culture scene.

Jenny, tell us a bit about yourself.

My family is English and my father was a fighter jet pilot in the Royal Air Force. Moving around a lot growing up meant that my brother and I went to boarding school in England from primary school age and flew home to Germany, Malaysia, or wherever we were living for school holidays. It was a fun childhood full of adventure.

Leaving home at ten years old makes you very independent and resilient in some ways and completely useless and dependent in others. When I went to university, I had no idea how a washing machine worked or how to cook anything beyond toast!

How did New Zealand end up on your radar?

It was 2004 and my friend Helen Childs and I had just seen Whale Rider on Kensington High Street in London. We decided it looked like an interesting place, so we made plans to go there together. We arrived in Auckland in November 2004, and had a merry old time travelling the country and doing all the great touristy stuff on offer. I had no idea that I'd be back within a couple of years and would be living here for the next decade.

Around that time I met and married my ex-husband, who happened to be a Kiwi. His family all lived in Tauranga so with our young family in tow, we made the move from London to Mount Maunganui on 1st November, 2007.

How would you describe UNO. magazine?

UNO. Magazine is the hub of all that you need to know about the Bay of Plenty. Inside our pages you'll find the best places to go, things to do, places to eat and drink, and you'll find out about some of the phenomenal people who live here because UNO. celebrates people who excel in their chosen field. They might already be in the public eye, or they might be hiding in plain sight. We bring these incredible stories to the fore. It's the smartest glossy you'll ever lay eyes on!

When did you first get involved with UNO. magazine?

I had been hounding Andy Martin (founder and then editor of UNO.) for a year before I saw my name in print. I desperately wanted to write for UNO. – what a cool magazine, I thought! All my pitches were rubbish and I didn't take enough notice of what UNO. was really about, but I kept blindly pitching crap ideas nonetheless.

In 2011, I landed a contract doing all the communications for Tarnished Frocks and Divas. Since UNO. were (and still are) sponsors of TFD, I had to write about the show for the magazine. I was in! I wrote quite a bit for them over the next year or two.

How did the opportunity to buy UNO. come about?

In August 2016, I got an email from Andy Martin saying he was thinking about selling. I turned and looked at my husband, Mat, and just knew that we should buy UNO. We met Andy an hour later and had bought the magazine within few weeks. Andy started UNO. with his father, Charles, in 2005. Charles had passed away a few years earlier and I think it had become painful to carry on without his dad. Andy really wanted someone to take it over who would love UNO. and he knew how much we love it.

Who is your favourite UNO. story?

Before we bought UNO. my favourite was the cover story on Tiki Taane in 2011. I was so star struck that I had three beers in the interview and didn't take enough notes. I had to go back and interview him again.

But my two favourites since becoming editor are Max Gimblett and Pato Alvarez. Max is a Kiwi artist who lives in New York. He is soulful, smart, cheekily pompous, talented, flirty and knowledgeable. I still mentally refer back to our interview and think about his words of wisdom. We have stayed in touch and have dinner together when he comes to New Zealand.

Pato owns One Love and Bay Dreams, the country's biggest festivals. I just love Pato. He's so driven, so lovable, and so bloody hard working. He says exactly what's going on in his mind, and he's got balls of steel. He's generous to a fault and is great fun.

I’ve also enjoyed working with big brands like Bentley and Earthwise. They have very specific messages and brand stories, and we love coming up with creative ways to shoot their products in studio and outdoors, and getting to work with some seriously talented people. We have built a whole other arm to the business shooting imagery, video and other creative content for brands who like how we do things.

How have you put your own stamp on UNO.?

We have kept the core of UNO. very much the same as the vision it started with, being about people and focused on the Bay of Plenty. We aren't topical, or newsy: a three-year-old copy is as good a read now as it was then, which gives our advertisers incredible value for money.

The stamp we've put on UNO. is our own unique love for the Bay and I hope that springs from the pages.

Tell me about the writing impulse in you.

I’ve always enjoyed writing and had a fantasy about living in a rambling old cottage in the countryside, writing books, drinking wine and tea with friends and walking my Labrador every day. It still sounds gorgeous, actually!

When my son was three and my twin daughters one, I was climbing the walls dying to get into some work. I'd been a spread betting trader in London prior to moving to Tauranga, so I really needed to find something quite different to do. I started writing a mummy blog, then started to pick up writing contracts and it all just blossomed from there.

What was it like starting a freelance business in Tauranga?

About five years ago I was a single mum, the children were all at school, and I wanted to crank up my work. I love writing, especially about businesses and Tauranga was bubbling. Businesses here needed content, and plenty of it. I had an idea to get a copywriting agency going to meet the need, so I set up Aim Sure.

At the same time I noticed that houses at the Mount commanded a high price in the holiday letting market. I did some research to work out what people would pay a premium price for. With interior designer (and now UNO. stylist), Kath Macdonald, I turned my house into what my target market were looking for - a white, uncluttered home with expensive (rented) artwork on the walls. I got a professional photographer in, wrote an enticing blurb and put it up on all the lettings websites.

So, I had two jobs: writing, and letting out my house. By this time I had met my now-husband, Mat, so we would pile off with the children for a few days at a time, then return to live in a pristine house in between bookings. It was a great way to make some money, have lots of flexibility, and have loads of adventures!

Do you do much writing today?

Today writing is a much smaller part of my job. My time is spent working with UNO. creative director, Emma, and co-publisher, Mat, and the 30 or so contracted photographers, writers, designers, stylists and makeup artists each issue. We build advertising campaigns for our clients within the magazine and across digital platforms, plan the editorial and ensure that it's all delivered beautifully in print.

Editing the magazine is a hugely interesting and varied job. Every feature in the magazine takes much planning, shooting, writing, styling and designing. It's quite a balancing act to ensure the brands we work with on each issue blend with UNO. in a way that our readers will connect with and enjoy. The whole magazine needs to cohere and feel just right.

How would you describe Tauranga’s energy at the moment?


How did you find Tauranga as a newcomer?

When I moved here I didn't know anyone, really, but I am pretty chatty, and happy to go up and introduce myself to people, which helps wherever you live. I have found Tauranga to be an extremely welcoming place. It's also close-knit, in that everyone looks out for each other. What a great city!

How has Tauranga changed since you arrived?

It has mushroomed in size, and so there are lots of fresh minds moving here, bringing their brilliant, different ideas.

What has moving to Tauranga meant for your career?

The big draw card, I think, is that you can do a fun, demanding job which really stretches your brain, whilst having an incredibly easy, relaxed life around it. Being able to see the ocean every day really does something fantastic to your wellbeing. There are limitless opportunities here to create work, and a life you want. I have had a very varied life in The Mount over the last ten years. I think I'll stay!

Has living here changed you?

Yes. I have become used to eating cheese before dinner rather than after. And I don't get offended when someone invites me to a dinner party then asks if I can provide pudding/salad/meat.


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