Swapping high-pressure Government jobs for the Coast life
After years of high-pressure roles in Wellington, Andy and Jolene finally left the ‘pressure cooker’ for a better quality of life on the West Coast, where they now own and operate boutique accommodation suites surrounded by the Coast’s Untamed Natural Wilderness.
Andy and Jolene were both born and bred in Wellington, spending the last 20 years on the Kapiti Coast.
“Living on the Kapiti Coast required daily commutes of about an hour each way to our respective Government jobs,” Jolene says.
Andrew was an Intelligence Manager, with a background in law enforcement. His career saw him do border patrol for customs, deploy to Bali as part of the NZ Police response to the 2002 Bali bombing, undertake peace keeping in Timor Leste in 2006, and work in Bougainville and the Solomon Islands with NZ Police. He also helped establish the Commerce Commission’s intelligence team, and recently established an intelligence-led approach to Education NZ’s international student attraction activities.
Jolene had a background in hospitality, which led to running motels and managing the front desk for large hotels. She has also worked in the not-for-profit sector, Government policy and operational ministries, and most recently at New Zealand's Crown Research Institute Environment, Science and Research as the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive.
“Our motivation for moving to the Coast was all about quality of life. High pressure government roles, combined with the daily commute, five days a week, got us thinking ‘there must be more to life than this?’” Jolene says.
“The thought of another 15 years in our roles, alongside the 20 good summers theory (when you hit 50 you only have 20 good summers left in life), resulted in the decision to not defer living until we retire. The result was a complete sea-change for us.”
This brought them to Greymouth, where they now own and operate the Goldfield Suites - boutique accommodation built on historic goldfields next-door to Shantytown.
“Our five suites are situated in an elevated clearing within two hectares of native bush and placed to make the most of the views and the rural setting.”
Jolene says there were many advantages to moving to the West Coast.
“The lower cost of land meant we could afford to buy something unique that we couldn’t have afforded in the North Island. Coupled with the largely unspoiled environment, we have the opportunity to take an environmentally sustainable approach to our business.
“For us the advantages are all about quality of life, particularly the extra time in the day, the ability to work together, the ability to enjoy the magnificent environment that is on our doorstep, and the amazing friendly Coasters.
“Life has now become all about ‘working to live, not living to work’.”
Goldfield Suites Boutique Accommodation: