You might have wondered what life is like on the flipside – as an Australian, New Zealand seems attractive for its raw beauty, for its similar and laid back culture, the affordable cost of living and abundant career opportunities.
Here are some common questions and answers from Australians making the move to New Zealand.
What is New Zealand culture really like?
The New Zealand culture has evolved to embrace a melting pot of people and cultures, with NZ Europeans, Maori, Pacific Islanders, Australians and Chinese encompassing most of the modern culture. With time, the culture has blended its traditional roots in rugby, farming, DIY and humble lifestyles with a fast-paced and contemporary, flat white drinking and globally thinking identity.
Throughout time, New Zealanders have carried through strong entrepreneurship skills instilled by previous generations. Children in New Zealand grow up with bare feet, sand castle competitions, evening bike rides and tree huts, living in what is widely regarded as one of the freest and safest countries around. Kiwis are known for being outgoing, active, friendly, cheerful and hardworking, which makes fitting in around here relatively easy.
Within New Zealand, there are a few cities and many small towns to choose to join, and we know how important it is to find a home that suits you and your family. Tauranga (pronounced Toe-Wrong-Ga in Maori, though most people will say Tawr-Wrong-Ga) is a coastal city located within the Bay of Plenty, a region which lies in the East of the North Island.
The city is well-known for its beach, called Mount Maunganui (Mong-Ga-Nu-Ee), and for its strongly family oriented culture. Locals are famous (within New Zealand) for balancing activity and a love for the outdoors, with a beachy, laidback vibe exuded by the city over summer months.
Having benefited from tourism, the city has a new-age international feel, dotted with alternative cafes, hidden-away op-shops, colourfully themed restaurants and boardwalk food trucks. Night markets have also gained recent appeal, and many music festivals, concerts and family events are supported with local crowds.
And the city you call home?
How is the Kiwi business climate faring?
We’re a nation of mostly small-to-medium enterprises, entrepreneurs, family businesses and small corporates, with a temperate climate to match the warming nature of the business community. Post-recession, the Kiwi economy has bounced back, calling on our traditional agricultural, timber and primary products, and developing our growth areas in innovative technology, professional services and tourism.
Tauranga has become home to many professionals looking to find a balance between their fast-paced careers and their family commitments. Located a two and half hour drive south of Auckland in the southern right corner of 'the Golden Triangle of economic activity' (the three cities; Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga), Tauranga is a popular choice for professionals wanting to escape long commute times, high costs of inner-city living and tap into growth opportunity.
Without the high levels of business competition in Auckland, but with small travel times to the major city, Tauranga businesses have the best of both worlds.
Given the advantages of Kiwi Culture, and our proximity to Australian and Asian markets, it is little surprise that New Zealand has become a popular option for many Australian business owners and their families.
Will I be shivering by April? How is the Bay's climate?
The Bay’s climate is mostly warm, with short spells of rain and occasional week-long cold snaps in winter. Typically, the temperature stays above zero year around, bringing in 2400 sunshine hours each year.
The weather means that even well into shoulder seasons, you will find locals swimming or surfing at the beach, or out running or walking along the many tracks in the region. No shivering, and plenty of sun!
How does schooling in New Zealand work?
Schooling in New Zealand has thirteen years. A child starts in primary school at age five, and completes years 1 to 6 there. Primary schools tend to have between 200 and 600 students on the roll on average, with most in the Bay area requiring school uniforms. In Years 7 and 8, students attend Intermediate, and move to College/High School at the age of 13. In College, a student has Year 9 and 10 assessed internally, and completes NCEA (the national certificate) in Years 11, 12 and 13. You can read more on the NCEA program on the NZQA website
Schools in New Zealand perform according to a national curriculum and standard, meaning that public and private schools in New Zealand are considered to be of much likeness. We would recommend finding a primary school that's close to home, and going along to open-days or visits at the school before choosing the right one for your family. There is a list of local primary and high schools that are close to The Lakes here if you would like more information.
The college education network within Tauranga is well-regarded, varied and produces high calibre sportsman, academics and artists each year. The Bay of Plenty region has fostered a world-class volleyball program over the past decade, pushing many local students to international tournaments. The local rugby and netball organisations have also gained critical acclaim for their sporting achievements over the years. You can find out more about sporting within the Bay of Plenty here
The Bay of Plenty Polytechnic
is one of the main tertiary providers in the Tauranga region. A new city tertiary campus is due to open in 2016, providing growth opportunities for more tertiary providers to emerge in the region over the next fifteen years.
If you’re interested in current and future economic potential within Tauranga, you can check out the Priority One Website
for more insights.
Ready to join The Lakes? Contact us via email here and we will get in touch with you immediately