Trying to find a job that incorporates a spectacular lifestyle is a daunting task... but in the coastal Bay of Plenty we manage it.
With its endless surf beaches, breath-taking harbour views and sub-tropical climate, Tauranga's one of the country's most sought after destinations.
Up until the mid-1990s, the Western Bay sub-region (including Tauranga, Mt Maunganui, Papamoa and outlying towns) was mainly known as a haven for retirees. Sun-seekers arrived in droves for their holidays, to quickly return to their farms or big-city jobs. Amazing how much things can change in 10 years!
If you Google 'Mt Maunganui' and click on 'images', you'll quickly realise why so many people from cities like Auckland and Hamilton decided to pack up, and head for this coastal lifestyle capital. The images tell a vivid story of seaside living.
The arrival of thousands of new residents saw the region grow at twice the national average. And in November 2008, Tauranga City overtook Dunedin to become New Zealand's fifth largest city. And the Bay of Plenty is now the country's fifth biggest region: it has 270,000 people - behind Auckland's 1.4 million, Canterbury's 550,000, Wellington's 470,000 and Waikato's 400,000.
One company has played a major role in the region's economic success - the Port of Tauranga. Well before Tauranga's appeal and true worth was identified, the port company was busy trying to generate business for itself, and also help transform what was quite a stagnant local business scene.
Now the largest port in New Zealand and most efficient in Australasia, this regional business hub operates on both sides of the Tauranga Harbour Bridge and over 23,000 full-time jobs depend on its operations.
Big log trucks are a common sight on local roads, and in fact more logs are exported from Tauranga than from any other port in the country. The Bay of Plenty region has a climate and soils that make for a thriving forestry industry, as well as the perfect growing conditions for a range of fruit.
As well as producing avocado, tangelos, nashi, feijoas, tamarillos and passionfruit, the region supplies more than 85% of the country's total kiwifruit production. These health-filled furry fruit provide more than 12,000 people with employment during the harvest season.
Kiwifruit exports represent nearly 20% of the region's GDP, with Te Puke the district's 'Kiwifruit Capital.' Zespri International and Seeka Kiwifruit Industries are major players in the region. Many of those involved in the harvest are tourists fulfilling their working holidays. Anyone wanting to contribute can visit www.kiwifruitjobs.co.nz or contact one of approximately 20 job recruitment agencies in the region (see below).
More than 170 exporters take advantage of the Port of Tauranga's services and another company with local headquarters is leading fertiliser company Ballance Agri-Nutrients - employer of over 600 staff and NZ's leading fertiliser manufacturer and distributor.
For those scouting for work in Tauranga, bear in mind there are specific industries with a stronger demand for staff than others. Anyone with key strengths in engineering, IT, manufacturing, professional services, creative design, health, tourism and all of the trades, should stand a solid chance of finding relevant employment.
Tauranga - Landing Place, as it's known in Maori, is the central point for the tourism industry of the Bay of Plenty. Official figures show the coastal Bay of Plenty gets more than 500,000 visitors annually. Dozens of cruise ships roll in and out of the harbour every summer, and this helps generate hospitality opportunities. There are plenty of 'pieces of pie' to go around!
Priority One, the region's economic development agency, undertakes a number of initiatives to ensure an adequate labour market supply for local employers. These include the 'Skilled Migrant Placement Programme', INSTEP (Industry & Schools Training & Enterprise Programme) and also 'ICT Cluster', which distributes information to employers on potential candidates with IT skills.
For those considering launching or relocating a business in the sub-region, it's handy to know that an active business community exists - with many useful resources on-hand should the need arise. Just some of these include the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce, a membership-based organisation that promotes local businesses, provides networking opportunities and business support services.
If you're ready to relocate to a vibrant city that offers an assortment of employment opportunities and a lifestyle that is the envy of many parts of the world, here's just a handful of recruitment agencies that might be able to give you the ticket you're looking for…
(Researched & written by Dave Manville)
Websites for Job Seekers
These are just a few of the local recruitment & HR companies:
www.1stcall.co.nz - Friendly team has a wide variety of jobs available. Will also find you work. Call them first!
www.evprecruitment.com/tauranga.htm - Jobs full-time & temp, healthcare, hospitality, admin, etc.
www.personnelresources.co.nz – Jobs in IT, accounting, food manufacturing, admin/secretarial, sales & marketing, etc.
www.tradestaff.co.nz - Tradestaff has jobs in construction, engineering, manufacturing, etc.
www.therightstaff.co.nz – Manufacturing, construction, telecoms, accountants, admin, etc.
www.qjumpers.co.nz – Q Jumpers cater for ‘all trades,’ job seekers & employers can register.
Western Bay Employers
Here are some the district’s biggest employers:
www.port-tauranga.co.nz - Learn more about Tauranga’s biggest local employer, the Port of Tauranga. The site has contacts for stevedores, marshallers, customs brokers, etc.
www.trustpower.co.nz – Trustpower is a Tauranga-based, but nationwide power company. Click on Careers on the homepage.
www.priorityone.co.nz – The local economic development agency has sections on employment opportunities, ‘find a job,’ and other information.
www.seeka.co.nz – NZ’s largest kiwifruit supply company involved in growing, post-harvest processing, etc.
www.ballance.co.nz – NZ’s biggest fertiliser manufacturer and distributor – based at Mount Maunganui. Click on ‘About Ballance’ for job vacancies.
Other local websites:
withoutworktga.wikispaces.com - This website launched by Tauranga Library, has lots of helpful information including hints and tips on finding jobs, feeding the family cheaply, free activities, budgeting advice, etc.
www.priorityone.co.nz - The local economic development agency has sections on employment opportunities, ‘find a job,' and other information.
Sites that offer jobs, information for migrants:
www.trademe.co.nz - National website Trademe has lots of jobs listed. Look for the Jobs link on the homepage.
www.seek.co.nz - National website with jobs in all sectors. Enter Bay of Plenty in quicksearch box on homepage.
www.emigratenz.org - Lots of information for migrants including ‘NZ Cities Compared.’
www.newzealandnow.govt.nz - Practical and helpful information provided by Immigration New Zealand.