Tauranga Welcomes You!

Tauranga Welcomes You!

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My New Beginning in Tauranga | Shannon Rattey
7 June 2016
My New Beginning in Tauranga | Shannon Rattey


Behind every sea-change story we tell on this website there is a personal story with both push and pull factors at play. Crisis precipitates changes in many people’s lives.

This was certainly the case for Shannon Rattey. Since immigrating from South Africa to Auckland 18 years ago, Shannon's family had always been attracted to the beauty of the Bay of Plenty. But it wasn't until Shannon's marriage ended and she begean seeking a new landscape for a fresh start that she made the move.  Tauranga has sheltered her with the peace and serenity she needed to regroup and has also presented opportunities for new adventures.

This is her story.

Shannon, where did you grow up? 
I was born and raised in Rhodesia (now known as Zimababwe). After the war my husband and I moved with our children to South Africa. When the political situation and crime escalated there we moved to Auckland, New Zealand, to give our three sons a chance at a better future. 

What appealed to you about the thought of moving to Tauranga?
Life in the city is really a treadmill. You just get caught up in the survival game. Eventually the longing starts for a simpler lifestyle.  For years we had talked about wanting more time to really enjoy life instead of working hard in jobs that drained our life and energy. We tried once to move up north but it wasn't the right move and we landed back in Auckland. We often then talked of moving to Tauranga as it was a growing area.

What was the catalyst in the end that brought you to Tauranga?
My 37 year marriage fell apart and life turned upside down. Auckland became a place of emotional chaos for me. Just as I was finding my footing my son was diagnosed with a devastating illness. For the next year my total focus was on him - doing everything possible to get him life saving surgery in Australia. Once the danger was passed and he was on the road to recovery I picked up the threads of my own life.  

I knew I had to leave Auckland if I was to find peace and make a new beginning. I would never have been able to get back into the property market on my own with the out of control house prices, so I decided Tauranga would be my new home and new beginning. I needed a place to rest and regain my own strength. I packed up and moved in October 2015. 

At the same time my middle son and his partner were given the opportunity to move  from Auckland to Welcome Bay where he could complete his recovery from surgery. Then my youngest son and his partner found a lifestyle block in Pyes Pa. Within three months we were all here and settled!


What were you doing career wise in Auckland?
In Auckland I contracted in the accounting space for eight years, taking on different roles in different industries.

What was your experience of looking for work in Tauranga? 
Tauranga was a bit of a different ball game. It's definitely about connections here. In Auckland many contracting roles are advertised and depending on your level of experience, you can easily find back-to-back contracting work. It took me a while to find a short-term contracting role in Tauranga and the hourly rate made my eyes water - it was less than half of what I could get in Auckland. However, it was a foot in the door and I thoroughly enjoyed the people I worked with. 

We understand you have found a full-time role now. Can you tell us about that?
I manage the admin function for quite a diverse horticultural enterprise and I am loving my new job. The core values of the organisation are people centric and they truly walk the talk - not like many corporates who tend to chew people up and spit them out. We are in a growth phase  with a lot of exciting changes happening so the role is really busy.

I didn't find it through the traditional methods of employment agents and job websites. I contacted Kathryn Overall from the www.wishyouwereworkinghere.co.nz website who was able to make a connection for me.

What differences do you notice between the Auckland and Tauranga lifestyle? 
The lifestyle here is much more laid back - a slower pace. Not slow, just slower -  which gives you time to actually enjoy the most important things. There are so many stunningly beautiful places to go and explore. 

What do you enjoy about living in Tauranga? 
There are so many super talented people - I've seen such stunning artwork. The beauty of the mountains, the beaches, the ever changing sea - the opportunity to explore, to cycle, to sail. I have also developed a passionate interest in the honey bee since moving here.  I'm hoping to have a hive of my own sometime.

What has surprised you about Tauranga?
The growth! A few years ago I came here on a holiday and it seemed like a nice small town. Living here I realise what a vibrant business community there is and how many new businesses are moving into the area. 

What has moving to Tauranga meant for your sense of well-being?
For me it's a place of peace and serenity - it feeds my soul. I feel alive and I am excited about the chance to rebuild and start a brand new journey. It means hope. 


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

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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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