Tauranga Welcomes You!

Tauranga Welcomes You!

Kiwi Immigrants Blog

The Recruitment Consultant Helping Fellow Immigrants Find Work in New Zealand
14 November 2019
The Recruitment Consultant Helping Fellow Immigrants Find Work in New Zealand

In 2016, after a career in business development within the real estate industry, Nikita Pierce bought a joinery and shop-fitting company and factory in Cape Town. She happily ran her business for two-and-a-half years before the country’s political unrest became too much.

Leaving South Africa was a sudden decision made in April 2018; six months later she was living in Tauranga. It was the safety, lack of corruption and beauty that drew Nikita to New Zealand’s shores.

It took three-and-a-half months to find work in her new home, but Nikita secured herself an rewarding position as an international recruitment consultant at Tradestaff: Industrial Employment Solutions. She now gets to draw on her own experience to help make other people’s dreams of moving to New Zealand come true.

Here’s her story.

Nikita, what made you start thinking about leaving South Africa?

I was driving home from work one day and people on the side of the road threw rocks at my car. I got home and thought, ‘that is it. I am out.’ I called an immigration advisor and put my business up for sale that very week.

What drew you to New Zealand?

I had never visited New Zealand before but decided I needed to leave my current situation in South Africa. New Zealand has a reputation for being a beautiful, safe country and I wanted to live somewhere I could walk on the beach alone or drive down the road without fear of violence. It was a lifestyle choice.

What appealed to you about Tauranga?

Tauranga reminded me of a Cape Town seaside village – I suppose that was the main attraction. Ending up here had a lot to do with chance – it was all about work opportunities and my preference for nice weather. The fact that Tauranga was not a large city also made it appealing as I thought that would make it easier to get to know the people around me.  

Can you tell us about your role at Tradestaff?

I am an international recruitment consultant, which is a complex and diverse role. In a nutshell, I hire tradesmen from around the world to work in New Zealand. We have a skills shortage and we are mainly looking for welders, fabricators, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, fitters and turners, and diesel mechanics.

I shortlist candidates, then screen and interview them. Tradestaff will sponsor them if I am able to secure them an offer from one of our 12 branches across the country. This means the candidates have a permanent contract with Tradestaff.

I also work with placing production managers and higher end roles directly with clients.

What do you enjoy about the role?

I love the relationship building. I find great candidates for companies and clients and then I get to make people’s dreams come true with an opportunity to relocate and secure a good job in New Zealand.

Can you share your own job search process?

I applied for positions from South Africa but never received any feedback. I came to New Zealand on a partner visa, without securing a job. However, if you do enough research and contact the right employers with the right application and a clear CV you have an exceptionally high chance of securing a position from overseas.

After three-and-a-half months living here, I was lucky to have met a consultant in Tradestaff Tauranga Branch through a friend. She spoke to the branch manager and they gave me a chance as a temporary consultant. From that point, I saw a posting for an international consultant and applied for the position and was blessed to get the job.

What is the job market like in Tauranga?

Generally, people want to come here because of New Zealand’s beauty and Tauranga’s central location within the country. Tauranga is undergoing massive change and we are seeing a lot of international companies come to the region. Development of the city centre is underway and business growth is evident. As the economy grows, the local job market grows.

Any recruitment advice for people living overseas who want to work in New Zealand?

Keep your CV simple and clean; attach a strong reference and don’t over-sell yourself. And please, stop clouding your CV with so much information! Stick to the basic mechanics of your skill set.

What advice would you give to newcomers to Tauranga?

Allow things to come naturally and be open-minded and friendly. Do net set unrealistic expectations that will be easily broken. Don’t be so staunch on your culture that you end up pushing people away.

When you move to a new country, it is hard in many ways, but it will be harder if you cut yourself off and don’t open up to the way people around you live. Allow yourself to adapt to the changes and life will be much easier.

I suggest becoming part of the local community in whatever way works for you – join a yoga class, a rugby team or a group activity that strikes your fancy.

Bring your jandals!

What do you love the most about living in Tauranga?

The Bay of Plenty region as a whole is stunning and has a lot to offer people who live an outdoor lifestyle. I have found a sense of belonging and community of people I care about. Tauranga also has minimal traffic – I live three kilometres from work and it takes me three minutes to get there if I don’t hit a red light! 


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 Priority One your CV and a 100 word bio and we will send it out to local businesess who are on the lookout for talented professionals.

Priority One is not a recruitment agency. As the economic development agency for the region we seek to use our extensive networks to connect companies with the talent they need to grow and succeed. There is no charge for this service.

Email us at info@priorityone.co.nz

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