While there are many people choosing to make Masterton their place to live, not everybody is exiting the bright lights of the city for the same reason.
Recent arrival Ashley Mitchell lists “new adventure” as one of the reasons she has turned her back on Wellington in favour of Masterton.
An environmental scientist based in Greater Wellington Regional Council’s head office on the waterfront in the capital, Ashley jumped at the offer of a posting to Masterton. The position is a more senior role and also an exciting opportunity to take a chance and give a town, that she knows nothing about, a go.
Born and educated in the Waikato, Ashley moved to Wellington after graduating a couple of years ago. From Hamilton to Wellington to Masterton, it could be argued that she is definitely moving up in the world.
“I guess you could say I’m broadening my geographical area. I’m really excited about exploring another part of the country . . . it’s going to be a new adventure.”
With that in mind, Ashley doesn’t anticipate that there will be too much hankering for a night out on the town, but when it does call she has some good options.
Neither Wellington nor Palmerston North are far away, with Wellington in particular year round hosting fantastic events and concerts, she says.
She admits to not knowing a great deal about Masterton, but her early impressions are that the place seems to have everything a provincial town should have.
There is no escaping the landscape and outdoors, which is another big attraction.
“It’s a really beautiful place with amazing landscape, from forest parks to untamed beaches.”
A shift to Masterton also brings with it the opportunity to buy a house. A decade of rampant house prices is making home ownership increasingly unattainable in the main centres. In the provinces the dream is still very much alive, she says.
“Buying a house was quite a drawcard. Rent is going to be the same as my mortgage and I get to have my own home. Whilst this might be achievable in Wellington I’d have a much bigger mortgage, a smaller home or apartment, traffic issues, and no lawn!
“In Masterton, I get a cool job, a house, no traffic issues, less financial stress and a big city down the road if I want more!”