25-year old Sean Maskill moved to Taranaki from Christchurch in February 2015, choosing the region’s lifestyle as the perfect backdrop for his first job out of studying commerce and law degrees.
Now a solicitor for New Plymouth firm Auld Brewer Mazengarb & McEwan, Sean has found the move has paid off, both in and out of work.
“I’m working with experts in a great law firm, and have a diverse mix of national and international clients,” Sean says.
“The move has been great, and I’ve been given responsibility earlier in my career than I would have otherwise.”
Sean’s previous experience in the region was a brief visit in 2009 for the University Games, and a family visit during childhood.
“I knew that the Taranaki economy runs on milk and oil, that New Plymouth was small city with good surf and warm summers. Everyone I spoke to who had lived in Taranaki said that they loved it,” says Sean.
Since making the move, Sean has become a similar convert.
“Taranaki has everything, and the lifestyle is awesome.”
Since moving to Taranaki Sean has become more active, entering a workplace team to tackle the 148km Taranaki Round the Mountain Cycle Challenge, an iconic local event that draws over a thousand riders every January.
“It’s hard to say what it is about Taranaki that brought that on, but most Saturday’s I’m out on my bike or going for a run.” says Sean, who is looking forward to learning to surf over summer.
“There are two ways I can get to work - one way I’m looking at the mountain, the other I’m looking at the beach. Either way it’s less than 10 minutes, even in peak traffic - in Christchurch it was half an hour each way.”
Sean’s found a great place to live, sharing a renovated bungalow in city-fringe suburb Merrilands with an engineer and an accountant who have also made the move to Taranaki.
“The neighbourhood is nice, walking distance to everything you need, and is home to lots of young families,” Sean says.
“Rent is cheap, property prices are relatively cheap, the weather is warmer and dryer, and there’s a heap to see and do in the region, though more young people here would help that.”
Sean also adds that a purpose-built cricket venue would be icing to the cake.
“It can be hard to meet people, but that’s true anywhere. After about six months I had a good network, and Skype is a great tool for keeping in touch with friends and family, who I miss.”
In terms of advice for anyone else arriving in the region, Sean suggests climbing the 153m tall volcanic monolith of Paritutu, which stands sentinel at the city’s port.
“Do this as soon as you can – it’s a great way to get your bearings.”