When asked what he would change about his move to Taranaki, Andrew answered, "absolutely nothing!".
Watch Andrew's case study video on moving to Taranaki and working in the engineering field.
Originally from Glasgow and having lived in Aberdeen for over seven years, Andrew made the move to Taranaki four years ago with his wife after coming to New Zealand on holiday. Despite her having to convince risk-averse Andrew to upheave his life halfway across the globe, they've since had two young children and have made themselves at home here. They quickly found a close group of friends in the tight-knit Taranaki community and have never looked back.
Andrew's engineering background is predominantly from the oil and gas sector; however, he now finds himself as Beca's Infrastructure and Industrial Business Manager in New Plymouth, managing a team of about 22 engineers. While Andrew was initially drawn to Taranaki due to its oil and gas history, he soon found that there are so much more engineering opportunities in Taranaki than just that.
Andrew has observed significant growth in Taranaki - while the big metropolises have experienced steady growth, the change in the region's largest centre, New Plymouth, has been exponential. Since arriving here, Andrew has worked on the Three Waters reform (wastewater for local council – a big change from his past in Aberdeen), industrial infrastructure, chemicals manufacturing, dairy, and projects locally in Taranaki, regionally across the country, and even internationally.
He partly credits COVID-19 for the diversity of his work experiences, saying, "The post-pandemic world has silver linings because work is very location agnostic now. Whether you're living in Taranaki and working on projects in Tauranga or even overseas, it just doesn't make a difference anymore. It's more about what the strengths are that the team bring and how we can leverage that into other markets in New Zealand, Australia or overseas".
One crucial aspect Andrew did expect when he moved here was an amazing lifestyle, which has not disappointed him. Not only do all the cliches about surfing in the morning and skiing in the afternoon ring true, he's found there's much more to Taranaki than meets the eye. He knows the council has a goal to make New Plymouth the lifestyle capital of New Zealand, and they're doing a great job of it.
The diverse lineup of events on offer all year round is also a highlight for Andrew and his family, including the TSB Festival of lights in Pukekura Park, WOMAD, and Christmas in the Park.
"Whenever you go to these events, it never feels like a random crowd – it always feels like a community," he explains.
Another noteworthy highlight for Andrew is the ever-present Taranaki Maunga/Mt Taranaki.
"Climbing Taranaki for sunrise was one of my life's most incredible, beautiful experiences. As the sun hits, you get the full shadow of the mountain cast over the sea, knowing that this is in your backyard is incredible," he raves.
For Andrew, it's important to him to share the fantastic lifestyle and work opportunities in Taranaki with the world. Before coming here, he thought the move might be the end of his career. Coming to Taranaki was something he justified purely as a lifestyle choice, and he was prepared to work in any field until he found a relevant job, expecting to work as a barista when he first made the move. Four years on, he's found that the opportunities here have outstripped those he would have had back home, and salaries have kept an even pace with what they are back home, too.