Facing somewhat of a jobs crisis, Kaitangata, New Zealand, is looking for new residents.
The picturesque town of about 800 is located on a lush, green hillside just minutes from the coastline on the South Island.
But the town has a major issue – there are just too many jobs for the current number of residents to fill. In an effort to boost the economy, they are trying to lure city-dwelling Kiwis by offering special $165,000-home and land ownership packages.
An official clarified the packages are for sale, and that people will not actually be paid to move there.
“We have got youth unemployment down to two,” Clutha district Mayor Bryan Cadogantold The Guardian. “Not two percent — just two unemployed young people.”
The town is desperate to fill jobs in dairy processing and freezing works, two industries Kaitangata is heavily involved in. Cadogan is hoping to jumpstart the economy by filling the roughly 1,000 jobs that are now vacant.
As a temporary solution, Kaitangata has been bussing in workers from Dunedin, which lies about an hour away. He’s hoping that some of the residents struggling to afford life in larger cities will want to relocate.
The man organizing the effort is a dairy farmer named Evan Dick, who has collaborated with the local bank, lawyers and community services to streamline the moving process.
“This is an old-fashioned community, we don’t lock our houses, we let kids run free,” he said. “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.”
Correction: An earlier headline indicated people were being paid to move to Kaitangata and the Clutha District. The post has been updated.