23-year-old Holly Steger moved to Palmerston North five years ago and hasn’t looked back since. We sat down and spoke to her about all things career, property and lifestyle.
How did you come to call Palmerston North home?
After completing my schooling in the Waikato, I was craving a fresh start and change of scenery. After a lot of back and forth, I decided to step well out of my comfort and move to Wellington. I have always loved art and culture, so Wellington seemed like a good fit.
However, after about six months, I decided to move on. Wellington is an amazing city, but for me the hustle and bustle wasn’t where I felt at home.
A city with plenty of career opportunities was at the top of my priority list however I also wanted to live someplace where I didn’t have to spend hours in my car or on public transport each day. That’s when I discovered the Manawatu! Five years later, I have never felt more at home.
You seem very career orientated, can you tell us a bit about your career here in Manawatu?
I have a career that I absolutely love! I’m the Marketing Manager for Norwood, a nationwide business that has their Support Office located in Palmerston North. There are numerous national businesses who have chosen to set up their ‘head office’ here in Palmerston North, which allows for a lot of awesome job opportunities.
I’ve been at Norwood for almost four years now. Being a large organisation, there is plenty of opportunity for career growth and ‘climbing the ladder’ as such which has been awesome for my professional development. I’ve also been able to study marketing part-time at Massey University while I worked full-time, which was super convenient as Massey is just up the road.
Holly is the Marketing Manager for Norwood
You have recently bought your first home, congratulations! Can you tell us a bit about that?
Yes, I have! I brought my first home last year which was really exciting. The Kiwi dream of owning your own home is becoming challenging for so many people my age so I’m really grateful to live in a city that still offers affordable housing.
If I lived in most other New Zealand cities, it would have taken me a lot longer to get my foot in the door when it comes to property.
My fiancé and I are currently in the process of subdividing our first home and building another house on the back section, which has been a crazy journey! When the new house is finished, we’ll live in one and keep the other as a rental property. Being able to purchase an affordable first home at a young age was the opportunity we needed to kick-start our property portfolio.
What is your favourite weekend activity in the Manawatu?
Where do I start! On a Saturday morning you’ll often find me at a local cafe having brunch, Cafe Cuba and Cafe Brie are a couple of my absolute favourites in Palmerston North, and we recently visited Blended Cafe in Feilding which was amazing!
Blended Cafe, Feilding
We have two dogs, Jax and Leo, so we’re often down at the Manawatu River taking them for a run around and a swim. They love it!
My fiancé loves mountain bike riding so sometimes we’ll head up to Arapuke Mountain Bike Park for a ride or if it’s a sunny day you can’t beat a walk at Foxton Beach.
Palmerston North is also really central, so if you want to head away for the weekend it’s only a two-hour drive to Wellington, Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki.
Favourite thing about Palmerston North?
Hmm, that’s a tough one. For me, I think it’s the work/life balance that living in Palmerston North helps me achieve. Something as simple as a half hour round trip to work and home means I get to spend my time where it matters most. I can easily pop down to the gym at lunchtime and still get a forty-minute workout in, and in summer, I have a good few hours of daylight to enjoy after work.
Leo the lab, Manawatu River Pathway