Maintenance Manager Clive Oates moved to New Zealand in March 2007 to ultimately spend more time with his family and enjoy a better life.
I’d worked for 25 years in a petro-chemical plant in the United Kingdom, and my job meant that I was away from home a lot due to the remote area the plant was situated in, which is common of petro-chemical plants around the world.
The opportunity for a much more relaxed lifestyle, warmer winters, and the chance to go home every night after work was just too much to resist.
We decided on NZ as it appeared much ‘greener’ than Australia, plus there are no snakes, poisonous spiders or crocodiles here!
We found the emigration process simple and straight forward, which made the move to NZ that much less stressful.
Since moving to NZ we haven’t looked back once. The children settled into school well and we enrolled them in lots of after school activities during the first year we were here.
Schools produce more balanced individuals, and focus on life skills as well as academia. They are not behind UK as some people think. Children here can be children longer here, there are no pressures to become young adults early. They are free to play outside and go to school or the shops safely.
We chose to live in New Plymouth as it has so much to do. The walkway along the sea front is good for all sorts of activities. We have lots of wonderful parks and reserves. During the long summer holiday there is always a large number of events organised, and most of them are free.
Before I came here I’d never surfed or cycled, now I’ve cycled a 145 km distance and can stand up on a surf board!
My job itself is also very rewarding. It’s more diverse, there’s less demarcation and a big overlap into other areas. The process here at the plant is a complex and interesting one.
It’s quite a secure feeling having the plant based in the middle of a dairy farming region, you know our customers are always going to need more of our fertiliser product than we can produce.
I don’t really know what else to say, apart from that we love the place.