Two factors underpinned Andrea Bozzi and Crystal Smither’s shift to Taranaki in March 2018 – the dream of starting their own businesses and being together. 

The couple met in Sydney and made the move from Manly Beach to the coastal community of Oakura, where they currently live close to Crystal’s family.

“It was an easy decision for us to choose Taranaki,” Andrea says.

“Crystal came home because she was planning to start a business venture and Taranaki is a good place to do that, her family are here, and we wanted to stay together long-term which meant we had to apply for a New Zealand partnership visa,” Andrea says.

Andrea had never been to New Zealand before, but his visions of untouched landscapes and beautiful mountains turned out to be pretty accurate – Oakura sits between Mount Taranaki and the Tasman Sea, surrounded by bush and farmland. 

“Before we moved I didn’t know what to expect. Crystal had shown me photos of Mount Taranaki many times and I thought it was very beautiful, but other than that I did not know anything else about the place.” 

“I’ve discovered that it’s very peaceful here and filled with beautiful landscapes. I love the laid-back vibe that Oakura village has to offer.”

Andrea has found the process of applying for residency straightforward but lengthy. He intends to apply for residency.   

Andrea has launched his own business based on his experience as a social media manager and interest as a filmmaker and photographer. 

“I started digital agency Likuid Media to help businesses leverage social media marketing, create content such as video and photos for them, and provide training on how to use social media channels to grow their businesses.”

In the early stages of building his business Andrea also picked up some shifts in one of the region’s thriving cafés, and found it helped him fit into the fabric of his new home.

“Working in the café was a great way to meet people and get a real feel for the community. After a couple of months Likuid Media started to gain momentum, so I was able to leave the café and focus on my business full time,” Andrea says.

“New Plymouth is a small city where it’s easy to make connections, and there’s a lot of opportunity here. I’m actually working with larger clients than I was in Sydney!”

Andrea’s passion for what he does is evident, fuelled by an equally passionate Italian way of communicating. 
“The best feeling is when I get positive client feedback about the video I produced for them or the results of a marketing campaign I developed. That’s truly rewarding.”

While weekends will often see Andrea behind a camera or pausing to manage a client’s social media presence, he can often be found at Oakura Beach.

“The infrastructure here is much better than my home country Italy, and the environment is much cleaner - people really value the environment here and there is a big focus on sustainability which is great. The beaches are really accessible and well kept.”

While the move to Taranaki was a little stressful, particularly shifting everything he owned to another country, he only misses his family and good gastronomy – which isn’t overly surprising given his Italian heritage. 
His advice to anyone else looking to make the move to Taranaki is simple. 

“Look outside the city to the countryside. It’s way too beautiful to live in the suburbs.”