How Whanganui won over this couple from Hawke's Bay

Whanganui and Partners
Sammy and Sharon Singh enjoy Whanganui's laidback lifestyle Photo credit: Whanganui and Partners

There's no doubt regional New Zealand is growing in popularity, as more Kiwis look for a better life outside the main cities.

House prices, long working hours, traffic delays and pressure on infrastructure are making life in cities tough for many families.

But what is the reality of that dream? Is living in the regions all it’s cracked up to be?

Young couple Sammy and Sharon Singh live in Whanganui, where they own the local Bin Inn.

The couple enjoys the pace of life in Whanganui, and said it is the perfect place to raise two year old daughter, Simron.

"It is very affordable, and has some great schools."

A small town lifestyle and vibrant business community means Whanganui is becoming a popular place to live and work.
A small town lifestyle and vibrant business community means Whanganui is becoming a popular place to live and work. Photo credit: Supplied

"Because we don't have to spend so much time working and commuting, we have more family time."

They put the town under the microscope before making the move, with an option to own a Bin Inn in Wellington.

"We had been living in Hawke's Bay but were looking at the opportunity to open an outlet in either Wellington or Whanganui, so made sure we did due diligence on both locations."

Sammy and Sharon Singh enjoy the work-life balance Whanganui offers.
Sammy and Sharon Singh enjoy the work-life balance Whanganui offers. Photo credit: Supplied

The couple visited Wellington, but found the city couldn't offer what they were looking for as they embarked on business ownership - and parenthood.

Sammy Singh said a family life balance was important.

"There would have been long hours and the stress would have been crazy."

A year on and 30 year old Sammy and 28 year old Sharon are more than happy with their decision, with the lower cost of living in Whanganui a big positive.

"Our entire living and shop budget in Whanganui is equal to entire cost of the shop in Wellington."

Singh said town has a positive business community, where people are happy to help each other.

"People here don't demand things as much in the cities, there's not the 'now now now' mentality - people are willing to wait a few days."

"Life is very relaxed, everyone seems like family."

Sammy and Sharon Singh enjoy the variety of cafes and restaurants in Whanganui.
Sammy and Sharon Singh enjoy the variety of cafes and restaurants in Whanganui. Photo credit: Supplied

Rhonda Morris from Whanganui and Partners said there are more than 4000 businesses in the area, which has a population of 43,000. 

She said the Singh's experience is typical of many people choosing to make Whanganui home and join a vibrant and innovative business community.

"Thanks to Whanganui’s central location and developed infrastructure, business people are well connected to most places around New Zealand. This means we have access to the business opportunities of a big city alongside all the benefits of a small-town lifestyle," Ms Morris said.

That small-town lifestyle is something the Singh family enjoy.

One of their favourite weekend activities is to go to the local Saturday morning farmers market, followed by a coffee in one of the many cafes or head to one of the local parks.

"We eat very well here as the food is so fresh and cheap."

Sammy Singh said there is a wonderful community feel in the town, and he loves interacting with customers.
Sammy Singh said there is a wonderful community feel in the town, and he loves interacting with customers. Photo credit: Supplied

He said the family have made many friends, and have a circle of friends who are also young families.

Meanwhile Sammy and Sharon have purchased a second Bin Inn store, 45 minutes away in Palmerston North.

However say Whanganui is where they plan to stay.

"We love it here, it's our home."

This article was created for Whanganui and Partners.

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