Ian Butturini swapped a job as a project engineer on the London Underground for a position as a project coordinator in Taranaki’s oil and gas sector, and in the process gained a lifestyle he and his family had dreamt of, for a price they could afford.
Looking for a better quality of life Ian, his wife Shabnam Sharifi and 20-month old son Arian looked to Ian’s native New Zealand, arriving in Taranaki in February 2013. The move has been so successful that the family is set to grow, with a new baby on the way.
“The things that mean better quality of life to us – a bigger house, the ability to have outdoor hobbies, and being near family – were hard to access in London. Child care was too pricy and the commute meant there was little free time,” says Ian.
“Now, our son loves to play outdoors and go to the beach. We couldn’t do that in London as much. And it’s only 15 minutes to work, rather than an hour.”
Ian and Shabnam visited family in New Plymouth in 2008, and fell in love with the city’s views, friendly locals and ease of living. They returned to the UK with the idea of returning on a more permanent basis.
Ian, a New Zealand citizen, found work easily, and had a connection with a local company not long after listing his skills on the Venture Taranaki job seekers website. Shabnam’s residency has also been approved – a straightforward process following an application to the New Zealand Embassy in London.
The family are renting a 3-bedroom house in the New Plymouth suburb of Spotswood, and are looking to buy a place of their own.
“We love this area. It’s friendly, feels safe, and we have beautiful views of both the sea and the mountain from home. Plus there’s a lot of family activities close by and it’s easy to get to the shops.”
Their house is much larger and boasts a lot more outdoor living space than their former home in London. It has also introduced Ian to the joys of the legendary Kiwi Shed, and he can often be found toiling in his workshop, having taken up wood work.
“It’s a quieter lifestyle than London, but the flipside is that we spend more time as a family, seeing our friends and discovering the outdoors. Our son loves it here too, and he seems very happy and settled.”
When it comes to advice for anyone else contemplating a shift to Taranaki, Ian adds:
“International shipping takes longer and costs more than you expect, so make sure you contact the shipping company early. It’s also worth really looking at everything you’re shipping,” Ian says.
“We had loads of boxes arrive once we’d almost fully furnished our house. We paid all this money to ship the things we thought we needed, and they’re sitting in the garage now!”