The Manning family of Whitby

This page is about the Manning family (pictured below) who recently moved to Whitby, Porirua from the United Kingdom.

Obtaining the work/life dream in Porirua

The Manning Family of Whitby. “I could never have lived in Cornwall and had the great job and we didn’t want to raise the children in London – now that we are here we really can have our cake and eat it too,” says Andrew.

Andrew is now working as a self employed IT consultant in Wellington and loves the work/life balance.

“I’m home every night to have dinner with my family by 5.30pm. The work/life balance thing really does happen living here.”

After looking around for their ideal home – lots of space, a flat section for the kids to play on, shops, schools and church close by, the Mannings settled on Whitby, Porirua where they have been now for about two and a half years.

Andrew enjoys his commute to work on the train. “I like the public transport - on the ride in I wind up for work and on the ride home I wind down.”

“Whitby has got absolutely everything we need; we don’t have to go out of it. We can walk to the shops via all the walkways; we have a doctor, dentist, café, schools and parks – everything is here – who wouldn’t want to live here?”

Stephanie runs her own beauty therapy business from home – The Lavender Room. She found it easy to set up and visited Porirua City Council for advice on permits and how to go about setting up a business from home.

What she loves about running her business in a more relaxed environment like Whitby is that if she tells her clients she’s not working during the school holidays they are fine about it – “People here want to spend time with their families and they understand how important that is.”

Andrew says people work hard during their 40 hours then they go home and spend the weekend with the family. “There are such a lot of things to do here and all the activities you can do with the children are a lot more affordable than back home.”

So now that they have the lifestyle they always wanted, do they take advantage of it to the full? Too right.

The Manning Family preparing for kayaking on Plimmerton Beach.
The Manning Family preparing for kayaking on Plimmerton Beach.

The Mannings will often be found kayaking at the inlet just around the corner, swimming and playing at one of the many local beaches, walking around the nearby wildlife reserve, playing with the kids at the playground at Aotea Lagoon, swimming at the aquatic centre at Te Rauparaha Arena etc.

“We love being located this side of Wellington – if we are going away for the weekend we can pick Andrew up from the train station on a Friday night and carry on for our weekend away,” says Stephanie.

The family enjoy going to Kaitoke Regional Park and to the Wairarapa. They enjoy walking the Rimutaka Incline and cycling as a family along the Hutt River – and of course there is the skiing too.

Andrew has just begun helping out as a Kea leader at Luke’s Kea (pre-Cubs) group. “When the kids arrive they all just run around kicking balls – it’s great fun. In the UK people just don’t want to get involved.” Stephanie teaches Sunday school at the local church and is involved on the Kindy committee.

“There is a great sense of community here, people have more time for each other and that’s not just Whitby but Porirua and Wellington – people are more relaxed, there is a slower pace of life and people do get out and do activities in the weekend,” says Stephanie.

The Mannings are looking forward to applying for citizenship next year.