Annie Lines has zero regrets about moving to Taranaki. It was a decision that has led to an enviable lifestyle and immense job satisfaction.
Originally from Auckland, Annie has lived in a couple of the main cities around Aotearoa/New Zealand; she lived in Christchurch for university, and Wellington for her first graduate job. It wasn’t until she was seconded to Nelson for work that she started to consider the benefits and appeal of living and working in one of the regions. Fast-forward only a few years, and Annie now lives in Taranaki, working as an environmental engineer for the water team at BECA.
Annie prefers a small office environment, where staff are well-connected. So when the Taranaki job at BECA came up, she leapt at the opportunity. “There was a lot to like about the role when I first started. It is a client-based role, not just technical, and the senior engineer I’m working alongside is well respected within our sector. I’m learning a lot from being in this job here in Taranaki,” she says.
It’s been a great career move for Annie. “People definitely shouldn’t think that moving to Taranaki will hinder your career. There are a wide range of opportunities here, and lots of places allow you to work on projects across the company. And you can easily connect with clients and people in your field. If anything, it has been better for my career.”
“The breadth of work has been great too. Back in Wellington lots of people had targeted roles, on project work. In a regional office, you use all of your technical skills and the work you do is on projects right across the country.”
Annie loves the ocean and grew up in a surf-lifesaving family. Since the move to Taranaki, Annie has taken up surfing, which was a difficult hobby to have in Wellington. A favourite work-day lunchtime activity for Annie and her colleagues is the ‘running club’, where BECA employees run to the beach, take a swim, and run back to the office during their lunch break. “It’s the best de-stressor! You don’t have the option to go for a swim during your lunchbreak in any of the main cities. Taranaki is a brilliant place to live. Everyone here works hard, but also like to have a life outside of work,” says Annie.
It’s a good thing for Annie that she’s found the ideal work-life balance in Taranaki, as she has met plenty of new friends, and has found that there’s plenty to do. She also had no trouble finding a flat to live in, and from there grew her social life. “I love that you can go out and easily run into people you know.” Summer gigs at Butlers Reef in Ōakura are a particular favourite of Annie’s.