Tauranga Welcomes You!

Tauranga Welcomes You!

Aucklanders & Other Kiwis Blog

Mt Maunganui Honeymoon Leads to Permanent Sea-Change
23 May 2016
Mt Maunganui Honeymoon Leads to Permanent Sea-Change


Morwenna Tutt, thought she would never leave Auckland. But after getting married in Tauranga and honeymooning in Mount Maunganui in 2014, she began to have a change of heart. Less than a year later, the couple bought a 'do-up' house in Mount Maunganui and made their honeymoon lifestyle a permanent one. Morwenna wondered if what she gained in lifestyle benefits she would lose in career momentum, but on that front, Tauranga has pleasantly surprised her. This is her story.


What was it that sold you on Tauranga in the end?

What we liked about Tauranga was that it was big enough to have lots to do, but still small enough to have a community feel.  The beach lifestyle was what really sealed the deal on Tauranga as a place to live, grow our careers and bring up a family one day. 

We took over ownership of our house in April 2015. For three months I commuted to Auckland during the week where I was working in an HR role at 2Degrees and spent the weekends at home in Mount Maunganui.

What sort of work role did you think you would find in Tauranga?

I was unsure of the opportunities that would be available to me moving down here.  I used LinkedIn and contacted my preferred places to work and search for opportunities. After a few months of searching, I was lucky enough to secure my dream role as the Shared Services/ Talent Leader in the People and Capability team for Ballance Agri-Nutrients.

I was pleasantly surprised to find myself working for a leading-edge, progressive business – they’re right up there with the big guns in Auckland!

The role combines my passion for HR business partnering, recruitment and leading teams. Part of my responsibility is creating and driving the recruitment strategy to help attract the best talent to Ballance.


What do you enjoy about working at Ballance Agri-Nutrients?

I have never had anything to do with the primary sector before and I am loving it. I am learning new things every day. There’s a really strong connection between fertiliser and food, and it creates real meaning in your work to know that you’re supporting Kiwi farmers and growers to help feed more than 20 million people around the world!

You spend so much time at work so one of the things you hope is that the people will be great. I’ve already made some good mates at work, and I work with one of the best HR teams I have ever worked with. We have some great plans in the pipeline and I can’t wait to see them come to fruition.  We have very clever and down to earth people at Ballance who are very happy to share their knowledge.

Ballance Attract the Best 

"One of our people aspirations is for the best of the best to want to come and work for us here at Ballance Agri-Nutrients.  This includes making sure we draw from a large pool of candidates from all over New Zealand and the world. 

Obviously due to our proximity to Auckland, we have seen a number of talented individuals from there put their hands up. We put them through quite a rigorous selection process to make sure the fit is right and that they are the best!

We are very happy with the new recruits to the Ballance world.  They bring diverse experiences and perspectives that add to our current pool of talent and in return they get to work for a successful organisation and live in one of the hotspots of New Zealand – Tauranga/ Mount Manuganui.   

Edith Sykes | GM People and Capability
Ballance Agri-Nutrients


Morwenna, tell us about buying and renovating your first home in Mt Maunganui?

I always had a dream to own a weatherboard bungalow with great indoor outdoor flow near the beach and we had this in mind when we started our search.  The property market was just getting hot down here when we started looking and properties on Trade Me were being sold reasonably quickly, so we drove down one weekend and searched the streets looking for places that weren’t yet advertised online.  We spotted the perfect house - a 1958 weatherboard bungalow. It was very run down and overgrown but had ‘great bones’. 

We contacted the agent, drove down the following Tuesday night from Auckland for a viewing and put an offer on it straight away.  Some friends and family thought we were crazy as we had no renovation experience.  I'll admit it's been a HUGE job but after a year of planning and saving, we have recently completed the lounge, kitchen, dining and bathroom, and we love it!  We still have a way to go but are loving getting stuck in to our project and seeing the difference we are making.  We would never have been able to afford a location like this in Auckland.


What differences do you notice between the Auckland and Tauranga lifestyle?

I watch the Auckland traffic report on Breakfast and am so grateful that I don’t have to sit in that traffic anymore.  I love my 8 minute journey to work!   If I leave work at 5 on a Friday, I can be home and to the beach by 5.15.  I often think that if I was still in Auckland I would be still stuck in traffic.   I love that I don’t have to use my car on the weekends and I can bike everywhere, and we live in such a friendly neighbourhood.  I definitely think it’s a lot more relaxed down here.  

What do you enjoy about living in Mt Mauganui?

The beaches were a huge drawcard, and I have found out since moving here that the Mount has great shops and restaurants.  I love visiting the Gourmet Night Markets on a Friday during the summer, the monthly Little Big Markets and the outdoor cinema - they are a great way of getting out and about. We spend a lot of time at the beach and we are looking forward to exploring our surroundings now that our renovations are slowing down.    

What has surprised you about Tauranga?

I really worried about not having family and friends here, but we have had so many visitors from home and have met some great people down here.  It is also just a short trip up to Auckland (if you can tear yourself away from the relaxing beachy weekends!).  I never imagined I would live anywhere else than Auckland, but I have never once regretted the decision to move. 

What has moving to Tauranga meant for your sense of well-being?

I love the healthy lifestyle, everyone is out and about.  I can switch off more easily – much more work/life balance.  Nothing is far away.  The time that you don’t have to spend in a car can be much better spent doing the things you love.    



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!

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Meet Kathryn Overall
Explore www.wishyouwereworkinghere.co.nz


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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!


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