Land and law win out over big city lifestyle

The land and the law have enticed a couple to move to Taihape in search of a better life for them and their family.

Andrew Thomas, Emma Batley and their nine-month-old son Freddie have left Auckland to begin succession on Ms Batley’s family beef and sheep farm near Taihape.

In addition to working on the farm, Mr Thomas has joined the Taihape branch of Whanganui law firm Treadwell Gordon and says he is enjoying the variety and challenges of the two jobs.

“For us, having our son grow up on the farm compared to the busy rat race of Auckland was something we could not miss out on,” Mr Thomas said.


“This, combined with working at Treadwell Gordon, an excellent firm who is going from strength to strength, was just the perfect fit for our family.”

Mr Thomas grew up on a beef and sheep farm in Canterbury before attending the University of Otago where he graduated with a bachelor of law and arts. He has had a varied career including working for the New Zealand Defence Force legal team, deploying to the Solomon Islands as an infantry platoon commander and serving in the Golan Heights for a year with the United Nations.

He has worked for law firms in London and Auckland and is a specialist land lawyer who also has experience in business sales and general commercial law. Ms Batley, who graduated from the University of Otago with a bachelor of commerce and a bachelor of arts, is working on the farm and “busy being a mother of a very busy boy”.

Mr Thomas says he is looking forward to getting involved in the community and the challenge of the Tussock Traverse across the Tongariro National Park in January along with his new role on the Majestic Taihape Management Committee.

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