“We have jobs, we have houses, but we don’t have people.”
Kaitangata, near the coast of South Otago, New Zealand, has launched a recruitment campaign to entice people to come to their town of 800 residents.
There are more than 1,000 vacant jobs, according to mayor Bryan Cadogan, many in dairy processing plants and freezing works. “We have got youth unemployment down to two,” said Cadogan. “Not 2 percent — just two unemployed young people.”
Kai, as it is known to locals, is so eager to welcome visitors that the town is offering housing and land packages for sale for about NZ$230,000 (about US$160,000).
The local bank, lawyers, and community services are on standby to help interested parties with relocation.
“This is an old-fashioned community, we don’t lock our houses, we let kids run free,” Cadogan told The Guardian. “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.”
Editor's note: This article has been corrected with updated information that the land packages are for sale, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, and not for free.