December 12, 2016 | PROPERTY REPORT
Moving away from the rush Continued from page 6
to move to Rotorua. The campaign targets Aucklanders including families, working professionals and those of midhigh socio-economic status to embrace Rotorua. Moving out A couple of months ago Brett and Jacqui Piskulic sold up their Mangere Bridge home of 10 years, moving their family to a lifestyle property 10 minutes out of Kamo above Whangarei. Brett says: “Jacqui floated the idea of moving out of Auckland a while ago and we got serious about it earlier this year. “She’d made noises about us moving to Invercargill, where she’s originally from, but that seemed too cold and far away to me.” Around Whangarei seemed a good option as the couple and their daughter and two sons had enjoyed holidaying up north. They made sure there were good clubs available for their children’s sports before deciding to relocate. The couple say they’ve got no interest in ‘knocking Auckland’ as the move was about pursuing a lifestyle they wanted which would allow them to spend more time as a family. A real estate agent they trusted in the new location knew what they were looking for after selling their non-waterfront Mangere Bridge home. They bought a similarly sized, somewhat newer home on about a hectare of land for a little less money. Brett’s been able to continue his career behind the scenes in the electricity supply industry working remotely, interspersed with some out-of-town trips. He’d leave home early in Auckland to avoid commuter bottlenecks but he and Jacqui often got stuck in congestion taking children to sport. Brett says: “I’m traffic intolerant and felt like I was wasting life away stuck in the traffic.” They weren’t much hooked into Auckland’s cafe society and have found great beaches and bushwalks around Whangarei. They’re grateful two staff from Waterlea School came up to help transition their 10-year-old son with special needs, Nikolai, into his new school. They also took a few day trips to their friendly new location pre-move. Jacqui’s social but says technology including messaging and video calling helps maintain contact with Auckland friends and family. She says: “I love the fact we live looking out at greenery and have space around us.” New Plymouth House-sitting for a New Plymouth cousin for a week last Christmas convinced ex-Torbay residents Rachel and Dan Court to move their family there in August. Rachel says: “Within a couple of days we said, ‘This is crazy; everything seems so easy down here’. “Dan’s a surfer and could get up and drive five minutes to go surfing every morning.” The Courts’ blended family with six children was finding day-to-day Auckland life fast-paced, living in a threebedroom one-bathroom 1950s Torbay house on a crossleased site. Rachel says: “Dan’s a self-employed tradesman who often got stuck in traffic going to do quotes and I didn’t really feel like I had time to do much outside of work once everything else got done.” They sold their Torbay property for $990,000 at the end of June, shortly after paying $480,000 for a 2.4 hectare lifestyle property in Tataraimaka outside the little township of Oakura.
Tauranga (above), Whangarei (below, right) and Hamilton have all had their populations boosted by the “Auckland escapees”.
Rachel says things fell into place when she heard wordof-mouth about the job she got as a New Plymouth public health nurse earning exactly the same wages as she did doing that role in Auckland. Dan’s spending a spell as house husband while they settle in; confident he can use his trade skills or skipper’s ticket when they’re ready. They’ve already extended their 1920s bungalow from three to four bedrooms, content with its sole bathroom for now as two older children have stayed in Auckland with family. Rachel says: “We’re so happy. We’ve got a view of the ocean and a view of Mount Taranaki, paddocks and open land and stock. “It feels like we’re rediscovering the old Kiwi values. We’re putting in a mini orchard and the two younger boys love riding their push-bikes around the paddocks.” Regional jobs Do your research about jobs before heading to the regions, advises managing director of Adecco NZ, Mike Davies. His company’s 16 offices throughout the country are constantly looking for good staff but Mike acknowledges well-paid professionals won’t automatically find the same sort of roles outside Auckland. He says: “You obviously can’t just rock down to Tauranga and expect to be a nuclear physicist.” He says prior research is just as important for Aucklanders contemplating setting up their own businesses to support themselves post moving to the regions. While demand for tradespeople has been strong across many regional towns, opportunities in industries such as fisheries, tourism, meat processing, agriculture and forestry vary hugely by location. Mike’s confident Auckland’s property prices and pace of life will see more businesses relocate to the regions, especially for location flexible services such as call centres. Spark spokesperson Michelle Baguely says they don’t monitor the numbers of customers who’ve relocated from Auckland and work remotely from home in the regions. However, she recommends they investigate technology services and available internet speeds before any move by contacting retail providers, checking out their websites or even talking to owners of potential properties if possible. “We’ve had customers who have moved away from
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Auckland to small holiday towns hoping to run their companies which routinely transfer large video files and enormous data files.” She says while services are constantly improving some towns rely on infrastructure built years ago and fibre will cover only 75 per cent of the population once roll-out is complete in 2019. Chorus took over responsibility for maintaining the network in 2011 so that isn’t the role of retail providers such as Spark. In a jam The increasing frustration of Auckland traffic often rates a mention from those farewelling the city. The AA’s principal adviser infrastructure, Barney Irvine, says its member surveys highlight that few issues seem to do more to push Aucklanders’ buttons than road congestion. Barney says: “They say traffic congestion is a top concern of Auckland city living, describing it like an ever-tightening noose around their neck.” Studies have been done suggesting Auckland’s road congestion is in the league of that experienced in cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. New Zealand Transport Agency figures show how much Auckland motorway commutes into the CBD have typically increased. A Southern Motorway 33km journey from Papakura which averaged 46 minutes in 2013 averages 67 minutes in 2016. A Northern Motorway 17.5km journey from Oteha Valley Rd which averaged 42 minutes in 2013 averages 50 minutes in 2016 while a Northwestern Motorway 16.4km journey from Royal Rd which averaged 25 minutes in 2013 averages 37.5 minutes in 2016. The flow-on effects of home-owners leaving Auckland means some fast-growing regional locations have noticed increasing traffic. An Omokoroa resident (21km north of Tauranga) has noticed her weekday morning commute into Tauranga CBD lengthen markedly over the past 18 months. Meanwhile some Papamoa residents report that extra traffic has stretched their morning commute into Mount Maunganui from typically around 15-minutes six to eight months ago to about 25 minutes nowadays.