Originally from Scotland, Paul Stewart moved to New Zealand to join Ballance as Senior Process Engineer in October 2007, and in December 2009 he also became Engineering Leader.
Given all we had heard about NZ we thought it would be a lovely place to retire, not thinking that there was much in the way of heavy industry or engineering jobs. Then, two of my colleagues announced that they were emigrating to NZ to take up engineering jobs. This spurred us on to look into moving ourselves, submitting expression of interest forms and talking it over with family. The rest, as they say, is history.
The engineering challenge and the variety of work available to engineers has a lot of elements to it, including catalytic reactions, liquid reactions, reactive distillation, improvement projects and, of course, process safety, so there’s always a lot going on. It really is a process engineer’s dream.
There’s a spirit of co-operation, willingness to help and goodwill across all levels in the organisation. The people laugh and joke a lot and in general it’s a happy and productive workplace.
My boy was aged nine when he came to NZ, and I can say that the schooling has been very good for him here in Taranaki. He’s grown in leaps and bounds in terms of self-confidence, plays a range of team sports and has made lots of new friends.
We’ve found it to be a natural, safe environment for families. The outdoors is very attractive and easily accessible, with no over-crowding.
That’s not to say NZ is perfect - every country has its issues, but on the whole we’ve found it extremely rewarding and satisfying. It’s always hard when you move from one place to another, but in essence we’ve found the adjustment in moving from the UK to NZ not much different from what we would have experienced in moving to a new location within the UK.
Taranaki as a province has a pretty complete range of all the key things one would like to have in a region.
We’ve certainly not been disappointed.