Tauranga- Schools and areas to live

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Tauranga- Schools and areas to live


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Old 19th June 2013, 11:22 AM
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Default Tauranga- Schools and areas to live

Hello,

I am looking for some general advice about schools and where to live in Tauranga.
I have got a job with the Bay of Plenty DHB(mainly at Tauranga Hospital but possibly one day per week and some on-calls at Whakatane hospital). My job starts in September 2013 (if visa comes through in time!) I am initially coming out on my own with my wife and daughters(age 3 and 8) joining me in December.

I am finding it really difficult to get an understanding about where to live and schools over the internet.
We are obviously looking for a nice family area to live in ideally close to Tauranga hospital but not too bad to commute to Whakatane occasionally.
However I think the most important thing for us is to make sure our kids are going to good schools. I am finding trying to differentiate the quality of schools over the internet, quite complicated so any local advice would be really appreciated.

We also were considering private schools but there don't seem to be many at all in Tauranga! Why is that? Is that because the education system is really good?

Certainly living in London there are tons of private schools and the difference between private/ grammar and state system can be significant.

Sorry forgot to say we are looking to rent for the first year before buying a property after that.

Thanks for any advice

Saad

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Old 19th June 2013, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by saad74 View Post
Hello,

I am looking for some general advice about schools and where to live in Tauranga.
I have got a job with the Bay of Plenty DHB(mainly at Tauranga Hospital but possibly one day per week and some on-calls at Whakatane hospital). My job starts in September 2013 (if visa comes through in time!) I am initially coming out on my own with my wife and daughters(age 3 and 8) joining me in December.

I am finding it really difficult to get an understanding about where to live and schools over the internet.
We are obviously looking for a nice family area to live in ideally close to Tauranga hospital but not too bad to commute to Whakatane occasionally.
However I think the most important thing for us is to make sure our kids are going to good schools. I am finding trying to differentiate the quality of schools over the internet, quite complicated so any local advice would be really appreciated.

We also were considering private schools but there don't seem to be many at all in Tauranga! Why is that? Is that because the education system is really good?

Certainly living in London there are tons of private schools and the difference between private/ grammar and state system can be significant.

Sorry forgot to say we are looking to rent for the first year before buying a property after that.

Thanks for any advice

Saad
Hi,
Congrats with the job offer.
We're hoping to move to Tauranga at some point soon and we have earmarked Bethlehem as our preferred area assuming I stay with my current employer woking out of Hamilton office.
This makes the commute around 1hr to 1hr 10mins and I work shift times so shouldn't see any traffic.

If I take another option I would be working for an employer in Whakatane which would mean living in Bethlehem too far of a commute so we would live on the Eastern side of Tauranga so our preference that side is Papamoa meaning the commute is around 1hr.

A new highway is underway - due to complete in 2016 that will cut travel times between Whakatane and Tauranga by a good margin.

I'm led to believe the following areas are good for families :-
Bethlehem
Pyes Pa
Welcome Bay
Papamoa
Papamoa Beach

Regards,

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Old 20th June 2013, 12:08 PM
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Thanks Escapetonz for the reply. I have heard a lot of good things about Bethlehem. Do you know approximately how long the commute to Whakatene is from there?
Also Papamoa also seems to be a favourite, how far is that from central Tauranga?
Finally on looking through some forums, it seems it is a flooding risk(Papamoa). Do you know how big an issue this is?

Cheers Saad

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Old 20th June 2013, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by saad74 View Post
Thanks Escapetonz for the reply. I have heard a lot of good things about Bethlehem. Do you know approximately how long the commute to Whakatene is from there?
Also Papamoa also seems to be a favourite, how far is that from central Tauranga?
Finally on looking through some forums, it seems it is a flooding risk(Papamoa). Do you know how big an issue this is?

Cheers Saad
Bethlehem to Whakatane is a fair drive - 98km and around 1hr 20mins.
Too far for me so if I changed employers and worked from Whakatane we would live in Papamoa which reduces the distance to 80km and an hour.
Distance from Papamoa to Tauranga is 19km or 20 mins.
Yes there is a flooding risk in Papamoa depending where you live. I think a lot of the area was previously natural wetland and is around or just under sea level.
When contemplating renting or buying you just have to search through the history of the previous floorings and check that the street and property wasn't affected.
There is also the risk of tsunami with an active volcano on White Island being only 40km off the coast of the whole area Papamoa to Whakatane!!!

As I say journey times will reduce in the years to come with the opening of the new highway.

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Old 21st June 2013, 09:02 AM
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Hey, I work for BOPDHB tauranga hospital and we live near TE Puna just outside Bethlehem and these are good areas to live and easy commute. Schools are reasonable focus more on life skills than academic as in the UK. We have been here a year and love it here in the bay. Papamoa is nearer to whakatane than Bethlehem but lots if English there which isn't an issue id just prefer to live where more multicultural. Good luck with the move
Ali

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Old 22nd June 2013, 01:30 AM
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Hey
I lived in Tauranga for 3 years before moving over to the Whakatane region in April this year (we are actually "over the hill" in a little beach town called Ohope). AND I was a teacher in Tauranga region so can give you a little insight.

Schools - it really depends on what your child is like, their abilities, and their personality. Primary schools are all pretty good. Secondary - Otumoetai is the biggest co-ed with over 2000 pupils. It has reasonable results all around (sports and academia). Tauranga Boys is strong in sports and for high-flying academia, as is Tauranga Girls. Bethlehem is a private Christian school that has good results, but I am dubious about the quality of education/teaching (but that is just MY opinion so doesn't necessarily mean anything).

Places to live - Papamoa is very popular with expats (it is fondly known as Pommie-moa!!) as it has a cheaper beachy lifestyle than the Mount. Personally it is not my cup of tea, but it is very popular and I can see why people like it. Driving into Tauranga from Papamoa is NOT fun (although it is still better than UK rush hour). I don't envy people who have to sit through that traffic. I have lived in the Avenues (nice area of "central" Tauranga), Matua, Pyes Pa and Otumoetai. You can't really go wrong with any! I would avoid areas of Gate Pa and Greerton, and some areas of Judea and Brookfield (they are NOT bad areas, just slightly less great than others).

My advice would be to try and get a short-term fully-furnished place for the first 3 months or so until your stuff arrives, then try living somewhere a bit different from that area for renting for the rest of the year once your belongings arrive. Try it out! Moving isn't the big deal here like it is in the UK...people are a lot more transient and indifferent to it.

Hope this helps?

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