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Tauranga Welcomes You!

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HR Specialist Tani Hansen - On Leaving Hamilton and the Skills Shortage in Tauranga
28 June 2018
HR Specialist Tani Hansen - On Leaving Hamilton and the Skills Shortage in Tauranga

Based in Hamilton, Tani Hansen and her family decided it was time to experience life by the sea. They considered Auckland, Wellington, Whakatane and Tauranga and quickly decided Tauranga was the place for them with its sunshine and beaches, location and opportunity.

Tani was fortunate to hold onto her Human Resources Specialist role with Hamilton HR consultancy business, Everest, and has spent the last year establishing an Everest office in Tauranga and becoming immersed in the local business community.

Since their May 2017 move, Tani's family has found that, despite being only an hour and a half away, coastal, laid-back Tauranga offered a completely different lifestyle and culture. From their home in Maungatapu they enjoy a lovely view of the harbour, while still living close to the city centre, and they have certainly made the most of the nearby beach.

Here’s Tani's story.

How long had you been thinking about leaving Hamilton?

My husband grew up in the Waikato and I had lived in Hamilton as a student in the 90s.  In 1996, my husband and I left Hamilton to work and travel overseas.  We returned to Hamilton in 2002 and stayed there until our move to Tauranga last year.

We had been thinking about shifting from Hamilton to a city by the sea for a couple of years, on and off, but not too seriously until January, 2017.

What was it about Tauranga that drew you in?

Tauranga was the best choice for us as it is by the sea, central to other New Zealand destinations such as the mountain for skiing and Rotorua for mountain biking and has plenty of events and activities that we are interested in. Tauranga is an easy drive to Hamilton to visit family, it's large enough to offer good employment opportunities and there are good football club options for the boys.

Tell us about what Everest does in a nut-shell?

Everest has been in Hamilton for over 12 years and is a well-recognised and respected HR consultancy business. We specialise in business 'people and culture'.  Whether you need help hiring the best people for your team; looking for practical human resource advice and support; want to develop yourself, your team or individuals; or need to make some changes in your organisation, Everest can help. 

Can you describe the process of opening an Everest office in Tauranga?

When I discussed my move to Tauranga with the two Everest Directors, they suggested that I continue working with them and take Everest into the Bay of Plenty.  I thought this was an excellent and exciting opportunity for me and my career.  Over the last year I have been quickly developing my business development skills.  I have become much more externally focussed and enjoy meeting new people in business and hearing about their HR challenges and offering support where I can. I have found people genuinely interested in me and the local support I can offer businesses.

Local law firm, Sharp Tudhope, has been very supportive of Everest.  We rent an office in their building and I can use the meetings rooms when needed.  The building and offices are modern and the views are incredible.

What’s your take on the Tauranga job market at the moment?

Finding the right people for teams is a challenge for many businesses in the Bay of Plenty area.  We are fortunate that people are coming into the area to live which brings in new capability and grows the labour market, however there is still a shortage of skilled people across most industries.  Networks are critical and help businesses find the right people for their teams.

What advice would you give professional Kiwis considering a move to Tauranga?

Do your homework. Know the businesses in the area that you would like to work for and send them an email and/or call them.  They will be keen to hear from you.  Look forward to integrating your work with a great lifestyle.

It is possible that business in other New Zealand locations will be interested in employing you remotely.  Think broadly about how you could retain or establish employment with the business you want to work for and live in the Bay of Plenty area. 

Does moving to Tauranga mean sacrificing salary for better work/life balance?

It may, it depends on the type of work you are doing and what you are looking for.  There may be a trade-off between salary and less work hours or there may not.  From my perspective, having a balance between work, family and lifestyle is ideal and priceless.

How would you describe the Tauranga business community? 

Generally, the business community is welcoming and keen to work collaboratively.  There are many people who are new to the area and they are usually keen to meet new people and make connections.  

What connection have you had with Priority One?

Priority One has been very supportive.  I have found them keen to support Everest and help profile the work I do and the support I can offer businesses.  I see them as integral in the development and growth of the Bay of Plenty region.

What vision did you have for your life in Tauranga?

A family life that involved a lot of outdoor activities such as swimming, running, walking, surfing and biking. We have been in Tauranga for a year now and love living by the sea and the warmer weather.  Our boys have taken up surfing and we often enjoy a walk around the Mount or along the beach.  The warm sea waters this summer meant that we were swimming most days – blissful. 

What has surprised you about Tauranga?

Although it is close to Hamilton it has its own culture and ways of working.  The people I have met in Tauranga generally feel very lucky to be living in this beautiful spot.  Most people seem to enjoy the outdoors, the beach environment and lifestyle. 

One thing I was surprised about is the lack of fruit and vege stores….we are surrounded by orchards and I find myself buying fruit and vegetables from the supermarket.  In Hamilton there are a number of large fruit and vegetable stores across the city which offer fresh fruit and veg for very reasonable prices.

What has moving to Tauranga meant…

For your career?

Provided new opportunities and growth, particularly around business development.

For your wellbeing?

Provided a lifestyle where the outdoors is readily accessible and where I can swim every day if I want to. I have a better work life balance, I enjoy travelling less for work and feel more relaxed.

For your relationships?

I spend more time with my family which I love.  I do miss not being near my wider family and good friends who I have left in Hamilton.


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 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


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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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