Kaitangata Launches Drive to Recruit Outsiders
The tiny picturesque town of Kaitangata in the South Island has a unique problem – too many jobs, too many affordable houses and not enough people to fill them, the Guardian reports. So the town’s 800 residents have launched a recruitment drive to lure new residents.
The scheme involves offering house and land packages in the rural community for an attractive $230,000 in the hope that New Zealanders struggling with life in big cities will be tempted to relocate.
Bryan Cadogan, mayor of the Clutha district, which includes Kaitangata, estimates there are upwards of 1000 jobs vacant in his district and local residents are unable to meet demand.
Cadogan said: “When I was unemployed and had a family to feed, the Clutha gave me a chance, and now we want to offer that opportunity to other Kiwi families who might be struggling.”
Dairy farmer Evan Dick is a third-generation resident of Kaitangata and he is spearheading the town’s recruitment drive.
Dick is offering house and land packages and has the bank, lawyers and local community services on stand-by to streamline the relocation process for any blue-collar workers interested in shifting to the town.
“The housing crisis in New Zealand has made the Kiwi dream unattainable for many people, but in Kaitangata the Kiwi dream is still a reality,” Dick said.
“This is an old-fashioned community, we don’t lock our houses; we let kids run free. We have jobs, we have houses, but we don’t have people. We want to make this town vibrant again, we are waiting with open arms.”
Original article by Eleanor Ainge Roy, The Guardian, June 29, 2016.
Photo by Clutha District Council.