Radio Bureau's Alan Oliver enjoys chilling out in Auckland

Alan Oliver, former Media Week ad manager, moved to New Zealand last year. He is now account manager at The Radio Bureau.

Auckland provides a good work/life balance
Auckland provides a good work/life balance

New Zealand
My partner Amanda and I fancied the laid-back lifestyle and the opportunities for us and our daughters, aged five and one, to experience the great outdoors.

Media environment
Radio's share of ad spend is one of the highest in the developed world, at about 12%. Excluding a few independents, radio is owned by two major players, who also jointly own The Radio Bureau. They have networked the 320-plus stations into major brands targeting select regions and markets. With a population of just more than four million, it's difficult to achieve mass reach. Three newspapers are required to achieve reach in the three main cities and several radio brands are needed to build substantial national reach.

Media owners and agencies
With a smaller pool of advertisers and consumers, it's essential to be proactive. Agencies are open to new ideas and are great at encouraging clients to consider new forms of consumer engagement.

Digital
Online advertising is growing rapidly, radio has fully embraced digital platforms and there are several digital TV options, including Sky and Freeview. But mobile and SMS marketing are in their infancy - the biggest issue is the unwillingness of global companies to invest in infrastructure for such a small consumer base.

Culture and social scene
Auckland has great entertainment venues and loads of good restaurants covering nearly every cuisine. Bars outnumber pubs and, according to my younger colleagues, K Road is the place to be. Barbecues are the norm.

One thing we can learn from New Zealand
Chill out. People are calmly aware of what they need to achieve and how to go about it. They strike a great work/life balance and are less focused on material gains. If other places were like this, would the credit crunch feel quite so bad? Arguably not.

Have you relocated? Contact: harriet.dennys@haymarket.com

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