Before moving to Whanganui Ashleigh Morris had preconceived ideas that the place was nothing but a "dirty hick town".
However, cheap living and a guaranteed job seemed to level out the playing field.
Whanganui's Vodafone store manager, who moved here in July last year from New Plymouth, said the city had exceeded all her expectations.
"It's a beautiful place. I had only ever been to Whanganui passing through so didn't actually know the place."
But the 28-year-old said she would not have moved here without a job.
"I was working for a Vodafone store in New Plymouth and then they promoted me to store manager which needed me to relocate to Whanganui and here I am."
Despite the callings of cheap rent, Ms Morris said it wasn't easy finding a place to live.
"It was getting dire. I thought I might have to buy a house because I couldn't find anywhere to rent but luckily I just happened to know a friend who had just bought a property and her rental was up for grabs," she said.
Settling in was made easy when she joined Wanganui Repertory Theatre.
"That's how I made friends ... If you don't know where you're going and don't really have a home yet, you find a theatre and they'll adopt you."
She said the thing that has surprised her the most was how pretty Whanganui was.
"You go along the main street and there's baskets of flowers hanging from all the stores and it's clean and tidy and it's nice because you don't get that in New Plymouth.
"Let's set the record straight, Whanganui is not the dirty hick town some people think it is."