Tauranga Welcomes You!

Tauranga Welcomes You!

Aucklanders & Other Kiwis Blog

Doug and Beth's Story | Move to Tauranga - BYO Job
23 February 2016

When Aucklander’s Doug and Beth thought about how they wanted life to be for their family in ten years time, they knew they needed to get onto the property market in Tauranga to make that happen. The tricky part was that Doug had a great corporate role in Auckland and wasn’t sure when an equivalent job opportunity might eventuate in Tauranga.

So they started thinking outside the square. 

This is their story.

Doug, where did you and Beth both grow up?

I grew up in Zimbabwe and moved to Pukekohe, Auckland at age 18. Beth grew up in Invercargill and moved to Auckland aged 15. We spent the best part of a decade in Auckland, each with a three year stint in Dunedin for university.


When did you first start thinking about moving to Tauranga and what was the appeal?

In 2013, now married and with a one-year old daughter, we began to think about upgrading from our tiny 2-bedroom flat and buying a house We considered the outskirts of Auckland and even Hamilton (for five seconds!). However we couldn’t reconcile the financial and travel-time costs with the lifestyle we wanted for our family.

A friend’s wedding in Tauranga led us to enjoy a two-week holiday here, where we discovered the wonderful place it is, and not that far from family in Auckland. We were primarily motivated by where we wanted to see ourselves as a family in ten years time. Housing affordability created the urgency for the move but a job opportunity was what I needed to enable the move to happen.


What happened next?

I have very forward-thinking employers at Tax Management New Zealand who agreed to a six-month trial of me working from Tauranga. Provided I reached my performance targets, as Business Development Manager for the Auckland to Wellington region, I could remain working from my base in Tauranga. We took a calculated risk when we moved to Tauranga but it paid off when my role was made permanent three months into the six month trial.


Can you tell us about buying a house in Tauranga?

Buying a house here in 2014 felt like a straightforward process. We had been recommended a particular agent who spent two days with us scouring available properties within our price range. By the end of those two days we had our top pick and returned to Auckland, beginning the negotiating process. We took over our house on 1st July 2014 and moved in on the 2nd. 


You’ve also started your own company since you moved to Tauranga. Can you tell us about that?

Working remotely gave me a lot of freedom and time in the car to formulate ideas. I had been wanting to start a management consulting company of some type for a number of years. I re-acquainted myself with Daniel Pink’s work in ‘Drive: the surprising truth about what motivates us’. He had developed a programme based on his work, designing workshops to help companies increase the engagement of their staff through changing the environment to foster intrinsic motivation.

I acquired the license for Drive Workshops in New Zealand and set up a company, Warhorse Consulting, to run the programme with organisations across the country. My Auckland employer gave their blessing for me to do this outside of work hours and take leave when running workshops. A warhorse is an icon for the values of courage (to change) and humility (to learn). I find these values helpful in guiding me in my work and something that my clients can aspire to also.


Where are you working from in Tauranga?

I tried working from home initially but there were too many distractions and I found it psychologically helpful to bookend my work day by driving to and from home. The Ignition Co-working Space on Grey Street in Tauranga has been a great work environment for me.  It offers all the resources of an office with other people around that I can interact with. It has also been fantastic as a venue for my Drive Workshop events. It is right in the heart of Tauranga with many cafes around to meet my caffeine requirements!


What advice would you give to other professionals thinking about making the move from Auckland to Tauranga?

Do it! Landing a job here (or adjusting your current role to fit) can be the most difficult aspect of being able to move here. However, the job market is growing and once you get a job here, it’s hard to quantify the positive change in lifestyle when work is only 5 to 10 minutes from home. Suddenly there is more time for so many other things, like going to the beach or up the Mount before or after work. 


What do you enjoy about the Tauranga lifestyle?

Beaches, playgrounds, parks, weekend markets, food truck evenings, friendly atmosphere, walks, and sunshine… need we say more?


What has Tauranga been like as a place to raise a young family?

The move to Tauranga has possibly been the best decision we have made for our family so far. Our daughter (now 3-years-old) thoroughly loves life here. There’s so much going on for young children. There’s an array of organised indoor activities such as gym-gility, hot pool swim days, library toddler sessions etc. and a variety of child-friendly outdoor locations (the many playgrounds, Pilot Bay, walkways and more). We’re not short of options to let us get out and about.

Getting involved in the St Luke’s Church community was also key for us in feeling socially integrated - a place from which we’ve formed many friendships.

We’ve found people in Tauranga to be genuine, caring, open and relaxed. It’s definitely the kind of environment we want for our family.


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

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


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 2

North Shore to Tauranga...and Loving It [Sarah Lanigan]

"This place is like a breath of fresh air. Think about happy people, less stress and no traffic. That is what Tauranga is!"  

Continue Reading

Blog Sample 3

Freelancing in Tauranga? Join This Co-Working Space

"Sending emails in your PJ's certainly has a kind of novelty for a while - but it wears off, as does trying to plan your next strategic move while surrounded by last night's dinner dishes..."

Continue Reading

Blog Sample 1

French-Born Tauranga Entrepreneur Inspires Innovation 

"It is a hard road being an entrepreneur. You need more than inspiration to get an innovative idea off the ground." ~ Pascale Hyboud-Peron

Continue Reading