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Watch NZH Local Focus: Why we abandoned Auckland

By Hunter Calder

Jayde Penney used to live in Auckland. But in August this year, she and her two children made the move to Rotorua in search of a better life, with less stress.

An Aucklander born and bred, Ms Penney said she'd been thinking about shifting for a while because sitting in traffic "was taking its toll".

"I just got over spending three hours of my day travelling when I could be spending it at home with the kids or spending it doing something for myself, so that was a big draw card."

In only one week of living in her new home she noticed the savings, more than a hundred and fifty dollars extra each week, with no need to pay for parking or sit in traffic for hours.

Both of children are settling in well too, Ms Penney can drop Izabella and Oscar off at different schools and be at work, in the space of fifteen minutes.

Oscar Pocklington says he has more opportunities at Rotorua Boys High School.

"In the next two years I've got a trip to the USA for basketball, so yeah that's pretty cool for me", he says.

The family of three are among an increasing number of Aucklanders starting to invest in Rotorua.

Between June 1 and August 31 this year, 36% of people looking to buy in the lakeside town were based in the Auckland region according to realestate.co.nz.

Research Analyst Nick Goodall of CoreLogic says Auckland investors are "increasing quite significantly into double figures".

Data shows within the last six months more than ninety homeowners have sold in Auckland and successfully purchased in Rotorua.

For some people, it's like being on holiday all the time, Destination Rotorua's Tom Worsp says.

It's a lifestyle choice where "most people can be home by four thirty, five o'clock in the evenings, they've got all that time with their kids, whether they want to go riding or running in the forests."

For Jayde Penney it means she has more time to help the kids with their homework and go to the park.

She was lucky her employer, Deloitte was able to assist her in her move, and let her keep her job too.

Mr Worsp agrees that with today's technology "people can now afford to live out of the big city hubs and work from home or even set up business in Rotorua".

"People can live and work wherever they want and still be connected to that head office or that place so you don't necessarily have to be within those confines within Auckland and that concrete jungle anymore."

Ms Penney does however admit that she misses her family and friends. But she says Rotorua has everything the big city can offer for her and the kids.

She's now looking for a property to purchase, while she rents a five-bedroom home on a "massive section" for $400 per week.

- NZ Herald

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