Now a Lead Instrument and Control Engineer with progressive local company Transfield Worley, Valter has spent the last three decades living in a diverse range of cities and countries, though has always retained a base in a small city just outside of Rome.
The location of the Transfield Worley offices – overlooking New Plymouth’s award-winning Coastal Walkway and Tasman Sea – was one of the attractions, as was the region’s natural beauty, particularly the coast and mountain.
“Also, the first person who contacted me during the recruitment process played an important role in my decision. He was really helpful and friendly,” says Valter.
“We met the first time when I arrived here in April 2011, and still catch up weekly for a coffee.”
This commitment to good personal contact has helped overcome the biggest challenge in the move – leaving friends and family on the other side of the world.
“The people here are really friendly and helpful, but I do miss my friends, brother, sister and family, and sometimes the nightlife of the major cities.”
“It was also hard to leave my old job, after 23 years, but I’m just feeling better now, more in shape and less stressed, though still looking forward to summer.”
Valter’s commute is now drastically reduced, cutting out the stress and giving him more time for his hobbies. Living in a stunning rented apartment just 1 minute from the coast and 5-minutes from the office helps, as does the easy access to what he terms “beautiful nature.”
And this new-found spare time hasn’t been wasted – absorbed by snowboarding, water sports, mountain biking, and jogging, walking and cycling along the walkway that runs past his house.
“I can go surfing on my lunch break, or just take a walk on the walkway that connects my work and home. Going home for lunch is easy here,” he says.
Though he sold his car and motorbikes before leaving for New Zealand, Valter is looking to get back into trail bike riding, giving him another excuse to get out and into Taranaki’s outdoor playground.
Valter is in New Zealand on a Working Visa, and made the move himself, using the services of immigration consultants. The move cost $NZ1,500, which was reimbursed by his new employers.
“The process to come to New Zealand was quite long, but it was clear, and I had very good support from my employer,” Valter says.
“It took around two months to get the work visa stamp in my passport, but apart from that it was a good and fair process.”
“The most stressful part of the whole process was losing my luggage in London on the way!”
Valter’s parting advice for anyone else looking to swap sides to Taranaki?
“If you like nature and water sports and can appreciate the advantages of living in a small community, you’ll love Taranaki. Just don’t leave at the end of the European winter as you’ll come straight into the beginning of the winter season here!”