It's funny what changes when you have kids.

It seems like almost everyone I've met over the past two or three years, who is new to Tauranga, has come from Auckland to raise young families.

In our suburb alone, the demographic has changed so much that the school has just added four new classrooms.

My daughter was one of 15 new entrants at the start of this year, I believe about the same preceded in the term prior and again the term after. Other local schools are similar.


Those I know who are self-employed have businesses that are booming, especially in the trades.

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Some are still commuting between here and Auckland, but that's the beauty of being here. Auckland is still there when we want it.

Others are still working in their Auckland roles for big corporates, but from home down here.

My husband and I are both from the provinces but moved from Auckland to Tauranga six years ago, when I was pregnant with our daughter.

Auckland house prices were increasing exponentially and our landlord tried to bump our rent up by $100 a week. I hate to think what he charges for that place now.

I was leaving work and it just seemed ridiculous to pay $850 a week for an average three-bedroom rental when a mortgage on a much nicer house here was heaps less. Plus trips to and from work were 10 minutes door to door, not an hour or more. Everything had been starting to feel like a battle.

For the stage we were at, it just seemed that life was going to be much easier here. And it has been.

Other couples I know who came from Auckland tell of the stress of leaving home at 7am for work, dropping kids off at daycare on the way and getting home at 7pm, requiring flexibility from their employers to do so, and usually working more from home each night.


The price you pay for a career.

It seems those migrating to Tauranga have one thing in common: They want their time back.

Of course, they are lucky to prioritise this, not everyone can.

I miss almost everything about Auckland: Its vibrant, open-minded, multi-cultured people. Its ever-changing, incredible hospitality scene. The beautiful buildings, the history, the beaches, the buzz.

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When people ask, as they often do down here, what I miss about Auckland, it's all of that. But I don't have the time to focus on those things like I used to anyway.

I am told you get it back when the kids are older, but for now, these two tiny little people and the third on the way are taking up most of my time - and energy.

On the rare occasion when I get to Auckland, I love the whirlwind break away. Especially if it's to let my hair down for a concert. But I do always leave with a sense of relief that I'm not battling big city stresses with kids in the mix.