As soon as you cross into the Bay of Plenty you feel something different. You gaze at the wonderful sea and harbour views, you admire the fresh, open green spaces, the orchards and the lifestyle blocks, and you feel the pulse of prosperity and growth.
|Welcome to the Bay of Plenty – the vibrant coastal region that is on the move. Western Bay, home of the city of Tauranga, is in the enviable position of being the fastest growing area in New Zealand. With over 100 people moving to the region every week, Tauranga will soon be New Zealand's fourth largest city.
People from other parts of New Zealand and overseas are tempted to Tauranga for a multitude of reasons. Some will come for the sun, sea and surf; some for the high standard of education and health; and some for the recreational opportunities. Others will be eyeing business opportunities in a high growth region that is strategically located on the east coast of the North Island, home to New Zealand's largest international port.
With the sun comes the lifestyle! Tauranga is famous for its outdoor pursuits, whether it's just lazing on the white sand or surfing the country's best beaches at Mount Maunganui. There are plenty of boating, diving and fishing opportunities or, if you are more accustomed to staying on dry land, there are a myriad of sporting, tramping and recreational choices. In addition, Tauranga is just a three hour drive to the central North Island ski fields. The sunny climate has other advantages – the region is renowned for growing avocados, grapes, kiwifruit, citrus and other subtropical fruits and for producing lush and plentiful gardens.
Housing is still relatively affordable. The average threebedroom house on an 800 m2 section sells for around $250,000, while homes with harbour or ocean views are priced between $300,000 and $600,000. Quality properties right on the beach will cost you upward from $1 million. The continuing migration of people to Tauranga has underpinned a robust property market and created strong rental demand. New subdivisions continue to be opened up and apartment living is increasing.
It's not just the great natural assets that attract people to the Bay of Plenty. The educational opportunities and the reputation of the schools is another critical factor, and New Zealand's education system is world renowned. The region has 25 primary, four intermediate and eight secondary schools. At the tertiary level there's the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Waikato University at Tauranga which offer a wide range of study options.
Take a look at the region's business community and you'll discover it is full of entrepreneurial spirit and drive. There is plenty of opportunity for networking and assistance within a broad business community. Tauranga is home to the country's biggest port, one of the country's largest exporters, Zespri International's kiwifruit, one of the two biggest fertiliser manufacturers, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, and the fourth largest electricity generator and retailer, TrustPower. The region has excelled in growing kiwifruit and avocado, boatbuilding and marine services, transport logistics, manufacturing, fisheries and aquaculture, and food processing.
It has also bred innovative and interesting niche manufacturers who concentrate on export markets. They include recognised leading edge companies that produce for example, telecommunication tracking systems, natural health bee products, fruit ingredients and fast-moving mini land yachts. New start-up companies are involved in, for example, biopharmaceuticals, innovative wood processing equipment and the production of exotic Asian vegetables and herbs for export. There are more than 170 exporters in the region attracted by the services of Port of Tauranga, who can quickly move products to all parts of the world.
"A complete infrastructure is available in Tauranga from software and hardware providers, networking engineers, systems integraters and web developers. There are quality, experienced industry people based here - they not only network together, but are often strategic partners. These highly skilled IT providers are fully supported and accredited by companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Toshiba and have excellent relationships with the New Zealand telecommunications companies Telecom and TelstraClear."
Michelle Whitmore, Starfish Solutions, Tauranga
It's easy to do business in New Zealand. The country has an efficient, open-market economy, a stable and secure business environment, and no corruption. The economy has adjusted for long-term international competitiveness with a freely floating exchange rate, free movement of capital, removal of subsidies, deregulation and tariff reduction, introduction of a flexible labour market that is highly educated and multi-skilled, and corporatisation and privatisation of state assets.
The region has around 11,300 businesses. There is a free trade agreement with Australia and Singapore meaning a business operating from New Zealand gains duty free access to a trans-Tasman market of 24 million. In addition, Asian markets currently account for $9.830 billion in exports from New Zealand.
What about information technology? You will have access to state-of-the-art telecommunications technology as Tauranga is an ATM node site providing super high speed digital data/internet services such as Frame Relay and Jetstream.