As is the case in too many places, Kaitangata, New Zealand has an employment problem. But it’s not what you think. The small country town has too many jobs vacancies and not enough workers.
“We have youth unemployment down to two,” Kaitangata Mayor Bryan Cadogan told The San Francisco Chronicle. “Not two percent – just two unemployed young people.”
In an effort to fill 1,000 job vacancies, most of which are in dairy processing and food freezing plants, the 800-resident town has launched a global recruitment campaign. Qualified candidates will get a job and the opportunity to buy a new three-bedroom house and lot for just $165,000.
Relocating for economic reasons can be a great strategy. I had a buddy who moved from his native Long Island to Richmond, Virginia solely because he and his wife wanted to own a house, and Richmond was the closest place that met both their affordability and lifestyle criteria.
Still, I don’t know whether I could recommend this relocation. New Zealand is gorgeous and the people are wonderful. Kaitangata is tiny, but it’s surrounded by natural beauty, including the nearby ocean. The town is widely described as a great place to raise kids – safe and friendly. I’d want to know a lot more about the available jobs and what they pay. And that $165,000 house? It’s one-step above a mobile home, complete with steel roof and aluminum exterior walls.
Cute stunt, Kiwi town. I’ll bet you get some takers Down Under. But I have to believe that even the most desperate American can find a better deal here at home.