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Live out your own Lord Of The Rings-style fantasy in New Zealand’s atmospheric and captivating capital

Clasped by moody hills, rugged coastline and a natural harbour, New Zealand’s capital city offers an abundance of jobs in technology and administrative government roles.

Wellington is the most remote capital city on Earth, but it shot to fame after the epic fantasy trilogy Lord Of The Rings was produced here. Although it’s not quite The Shire, residents say it certainly feels like it.

The tiny population of just less than 400,000 gives it a distinctive community feel. You can save hours communing to work and spend the extra time absorbing the stunning scenery, cafés and arty culture instead.

“It’s a fun and friendly city, which is very welcoming. There is a load to do and see, no matter what your interests are,” explains 28-year-old Sarah Jane Clifford, from Ireland.

Clifford works as an office administrator in Wellington, and had no trouble finding her feet after relocating from Europe in 2011. “My move was one of the best decisions I have ever made,” she says. “In a month I had a permanent job. Recruitment agencies are very proactive here.”

Clifford reckons it’s possible to get between NZ$42-47k (£21-24k) per year, in a similar role.

She also raves about the work/life balance in Wellington over other big cities. “I am within walking distance of the city,” she says, “But I live far enough away to be in a quiet area.”

Clifford’s trek to the other side of the globe has also allowed her to lead a healthier lifestyle: “I have taken up a variety of sports and I am more active than I was compared to back home.”

There are extra-curricular activities in abundance, agrees recruitment expert Jason Walker, the managing director of Hays in Wellington.

“The standard of life here is high as it’s a very cosmopolitan city,” he says. “The city also has a strong focus on the arts, culture and fine dining.”

However, he adds, job opportunities in the region can be quite specific.

“There are a disproportionately high number of people employed in government-related roles and the public sector,” Walker says.

“Industries which support the public sector, such as accountancy and finance, are also prominent in Wellington, as are construction and IT.”

British PHP developer, Ashley Etchell, 37, believes that given the current economic climate in the UK, heading to NZ in 2010 was a good move.

He works in the technology industry where wages range widely, between NZ$65-95k (£33-48k).

Etchell says that although he could potentially make more in other cities, such as London or New York, it’s Wellington’s great living environment that makes up for it. “Wellington has quite a small community,” he says.


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