Why are people moving to Taranaki, New Zealand?
It has been reported that in 2013, the New Zealand region of Taranaki in the North Island received 1309 new arrivals, the highest number to arrive in the region since 2008 (Source: Venture Taranaki). The majority of new migrants are arriving from the UK and Australia as well as other countries.
So why are people moving to Taranaki and why move there? The region can offer a great lifestyle for those looking for an outdoors lifestyle and beautiful natural surroundings.
There are a number of key industries in the region which offer employment opportunities to migrants.
The production of oil and gas in New Zealand is a growing industry for the country in general and the province of Taranaki is at the hub of this. New oil and gas fields are being opened up all the time in what is sometimes called ‘the energy region’ of New Zealand. Skills shortages must be filled and here is where migrants can fit in and look for employment. In addition to land-based oil and gas production centres, consent is currently being sought to mine South Taranaki’s seabed for iron ore.
Areas to live in Taranaki
There are three main populous areas in the region: New Plymouth, Hawera and Stratford. New Plymouth is the largest city and is known for its community programmes and cycle-friendly roads and layout.
Hawera is located in South Taranaki and is the second largest settlement in the area. Other interesting locations to live in South Taranaki include Opunake, known for great surfing spots, Patea and Manaia among others.
Stratford is located to the East of Mount Taranaki so is an ideal place to live for anyone looking to spend as much time enjoying this beautiful landscape as possible. It is an important town for serving the agricultural economy surrounding it, in particular, the dairy industry.
Leisure Activities in Taranaki
The unmistakable symbol of the region is Mount Taranaki (sometimes also referred to as Mount Egmont), a volcano surrounded by a national park. This area provides ample opportunities for outdoor pursuits such as walking and hiking with a fantastic backdrop and world-renowned scenery. In fact, the actor Tom Cruise is reported to have commented during his time living in the region filming The Last Samurai ‘why would anyone not want to be here’. A moderate and pleasant climate and lots of sunshine mean that conditions are well suited for life outdoors also.
Surfing is also very popular here with many surf beaches and surf festivals hosted in the region throughout the year. The town of Hawera, in particular, has many surfing hotspots, being located on ‘Surf Highway’ (State Highway 45). Music festivals are also held here including the Taranaki Festival of Arts held in August and September and WOMAD (World of Music Arts and Dance) in March every year. The city of New Plymouth also benefits from a large stadium and welcomes many major international performers.
There are many reasons to move to Taranaki so it’s no surprise that considering what’s on offer, there is an increasing trend of migrants relocating to the region. Employment opportunities, in particular in the energy sector, combined with the lifestyle make it an ideal choice for young migrants relocating on their own and families.