When Anne Ryan and Sean Husband were looking to return home to New Zealand from their OE in Canada, they decided to land in Taranaki.

“We hadn’t spent much time in the region, but knew Taranaki had great surf, an awesome semi-tropical environment and a laid back vibe,” Anne says.

Those factors, along with proximity to family – Sean’s parents had moved to the region in 2014 – and good opportunities on the job front, sealed the deal, and the couple arrived in August 2018.

Sean, a civil engineer, was been able to find a role with local firm BTW, while Anne was able to retain her project manager role with her previous employer, construction company RCP.

“RCP really supported me moving here, and I still work for them from Taranaki. We’ve got key clients here in New Plymouth and projects across the central North Island that I’m able to service,” Anne says.

Being the only member of the RCP team in the region has both plusses and minuses, and BTW is a much smaller company than Sean’s former employer, but both are relishing the quality of the projects and the project teams they are now working with.

While Anne didn’t have to look far for a job in Taranaki, Sean dropped a few CVs around New Plymouth’s engineering firms, receiving a number of job offers as a result.

The couple are still camped out with Sean’s parents in Bell Block – stereotypical Millenials, Anne admits – but are keen to sell their house in Christchurch and put down more permanent roots in Taranaki.

“We are looking at whether we build a new home or buy an existing house. There are some really nice sections around Bell Block, and we love the chilled out pace here, though it’s equally tempting to head towards the Surf Highway,” Anne says.

“In Christchurch we were very much inner city dwellers, living in a townhouse. We really enjoyed it, but now we’re a bit older and more settled I think it will be nice to have a bit more space.”

The proximity to just one mountain, albeit an easily accessible one, has also been a change that has taken some getting used to.

“Not having access to the skiing that Christchurch had, or the Canadian powder, we’re missing the ski season a bit, but we’re into the outdoors in general, and Taranaki has most bases well covered.”

A typical weekend will see the couple our surfing early on Saturday, with a game of tennis or mountain biking in the afternoon, and catching up with friends and a run on New Plymouth’s coastal walkway or through Pukekura Park on Sunday.

“We’re getting a lot more surfing in - Sean’s even snuck a few lunchtime surfs in which you definitely can only do here – but we haven’t quite got around to joining the mountain bike trail building group yet. The only thing missing here is more mountain biking trails!”

“Other than that, Taranaki has it all!”