Amanda’s Story

Affordable housing and plenty of space

When friends ask Amanda Grant if there’s anything she misses since moving from Lower Hutt to Tokoroa, her reply is “not a thing!”

“We love it here,” she says. “Tokoroa is such a friendly, welcoming place.”

Amanda, husband Shayne and their two children made the move to Tokoroa in September 2019. “We were after a change of lifestyle,” Amanda explains. “We’d had enough of all the stress of the big city.”

The central North Island, with its warm climate, wide open spaces and close proximity to beaches, lakes and mountains had always appealed to the couple.

She does admit however, that Tokoroa wasn’t their first choice.

“We originally considered Tauranga, but the houses we were looking at were way beyond our reach financially,” says Amanda. “And to be honest, we noticed that the pace of life wasn’t much different to where we’d come from.”

They decided to look further afield, and that’s when their attention fell on Tokoroa, a town of around 11,000 people that sits on State Highway One an hour’s drive inland from Tauranga.

“It ticked all of the boxes. It was still in the area we were looking to live in, it had all the amenities we were after and it was affordable.”

Affordable indeed. With Tokoroa house prices averaging just $225,000, Amanda and her family could purchase a decent sized home.

Finding a job didn’t prove to be a problem either. Amanda works full time at the South Waikato District Council offices, while Shayne has a job as Cafe Manager.

“We love the work life balance we get in Tokoroa,” says Amanda. She finds she has more time to spend with the children instead of being stuck in traffic. “Work is just a two-minute drive from where we live, and there’s not a traffic light in sight!”

There are plenty of outdoor activities for the family to enjoy in all that extra time too. In addition to the spectacular bush walks to explore and lakes and rivers to swim in, the children simply enjoy riding around the back yard on their bikes or “going to the local school to play on the playgrounds.”

Amanda and Shayne are blown away by the quality of the school that their children attend. “There are so many great activities and resources” she says.

Suffice to say, Amanda and her family can’t see themselves moving from Tokoroa any time in the near future. “It’s such an easy place to live in and has everything we need.”