Afford to live the Kiwi dream: Kaitangata 'buzzing' as appeal for workers goes global

The tiny South Island town of Kaitangata can hardly contain itself as it's suddenly in the global spotlight after launching a campaign to fill job vacancies with the lure of cheap housing.

The small Otago town has jobs and houses, and thanks to Seven Sharp, is now known the world over. Source: Seven Sharp

A report on TV ONE's Seven Sharp this week about the picturesque town 10 minutes from Balclutha has brought what Kaitangata locals call an explosion of inquiries from not only Kiwis but people around the world, after international media organisations picked up the story.

Clutha District mayor Bryan Cadogan says his Facebook page alone has had over 5000 inquiries about living and working in the area.

Dairy farmer turned property developer Evan Dick sold three sections for $230,000 at no profit, with a complimentary new three-bedroom house.

He told Seven Sharp last night his emails "just went nuts" after Tuesday night's item about "Kai", as he calls the town.

"So I rang up the mayor and said 'what do I do?' And he said 'just basically forward them to us.' And I started reading them. There was a gynaecologist from bloody Sudan and I thought well we probably don't need one of them in Kai," he said, speaking in the local pub.

"After Seven Sharp it's been a bit crazy."

It's created a very big buzz around the town and throughout the industry - Margo Berney of Hoamz Real Estate

Mr Dick said a woman from Auckland and her two sons had been down to view Kaitangata for the first time, they were "just blown away" and he's confident other reactions will be the same.

Local real estate agent Margo Berney of Hoamz Real Estate said they've had a phenomennal number of enquiries from Kiwi families "just wanting to be able to afford that Kiwi dream" and also from around the world.

"So we've reached everywhere - UK, America, South Africa, you name it. A lot of first homebuyers, ex-Kiwis who have gone overseas who are wanting to relocate to New Zealand and be able to afford to buy a quarter acre or a half acre and build a brand new house. And you can't do it in many other places," she said.

"It's created a very big buzz around the town and throughout the industry, and especially for us."

Kaitangata, population 800, now waits to see how many of the area's more than 1000 job vacancies can be filled. 

"Thanks Seven Sharp," Evan Dick said.