Want a Job and a Cheap Home? This Town Wants You

NZ town has 1K vacant jobs, $160K homes
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2016 11:27 AM CDT
Updated Jul 3, 2016 7:01 AM CDT
Want a Job and a Cheap Home? This Town Wants You
Kaitangata wants you.   (Clutha District Council)

"So many of the things Kiwis value, such as owning your own home and providing for your family, have become an impossible dream"—but not in the tiny town of Kaitangata. Bryan Cadogan, mayor of the Clutha district, which includes Kaitangata, on New Zealand's South Island, says the town of 800 has more jobs than residents can fill, so it's offering brand-new houses on quarter-acre lots for $160,000 to entice people to move in; affordable housing in Auckland can cost more than twice as much, reports Radio NZ. There are about 1,000 vacant jobs in the district and many others—at a dairy processing plant, for example—are filled by workers bused in from a city more than an hour away, per the Guardian. Even youth unemployment is "down to two. Not 2%—just two unemployed young people," Cadogan says.

The jobs available—including in nursing, construction, and the military—are "phenomenally good" with starting salaries up to $35,500 per year, Cadogan tells the BBC, adding that the local bank and lawyers have teamed up to offer discounts on costs associated with buying a home. Interested? Here's what Kaitangata has to offer: There's great fishing, a primary school, bar, pizza place, and a fish and chip shop. A convenience store closed last week but a supermarket is only an eight-minute drive away. "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," says a dairy farmer leading the recruitment drive. "We want to make this town vibrant again. We are waiting with open arms." (Perhaps this $273,000 gig is still available.)

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