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Wairoa pitches rural life to young city-dwellers

2021 11 04

Wairoa is taking a fresh approach to powering up their district by targeting young people in cities with a brand-new campaign that will sell the benefits of living in the country.

‘Think Rural’ is launching nationwide, with 18 rural districts, including Wairoa, signed up to the campaign. Their goal is to contribute towards filling 1,150 jobs in rural areas with young people who want to experience a new way of life.

The campaign is driven by LGNZ’s Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ), with support from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).

Wairoa Mayor, Craig Little hopes that encouraging young people to Think Rural will attract a legion of keen and hardworking new recruits to the Wairoa district.

“The Wairoa community is built around family, friendship and a love of the outdoors. An increasing number of people are choosing to live in rural districts like Wairoa where technology has overcome isolation barriers, yet the low cost of living and relaxed lifestyle has been maintained.

“Living in Wairoa means popping home for lunch, no traffic jams, outdoor adventures after work, and - all at a minimal cost. 

“There are a range of specialist jobs offering competitive pay and career opportunities for individuals and couples and Wairoa offers the ideal location to raise a family.

“Wairoa is a natural paradise centrally situated halfway down the north island spread along the beautiful East Coast.   

“Its foundations are friendliness and hospitality with its growing population offering a diverse quirkiness with an increase in arts, galleries and bespoke businesses. 

“We know the Affco processing plant is always on the lookout for new staff and there are forestry and farming related work such as fencing waterways and tree planting.

MTFJ is a nationwide network of New Zealand’s Mayors, working together towards the vision of all young people under 25 being engaged in appropriate education, training, work or other positive activity in their communities.

Mr Little is a MTFJ Core Group member and really supports the ‘Think Rural campaign’. Wairoa has already had huge support through its involvement with the Mayor Taskforce for Jobs which as at June saw more than 50 local rangatahi gaining sustainable employment as a direct result of the programme and in recognition of Council meeting all the target requirements of the funding, its application to roll the project over for another year was successful.

Noa Woolloff, National Programme Manager of MTFJ, is 23 and passionate about getting young people into jobs that give them a new lease on life.

“Young people often think about going overseas to have new experiences, but with the borders closed, we’re highlighting the incredible things New Zealand has to offer – right on their back doorstep. They say the grass is greener, but in this case it actually is. Think Rural will showcase what these towns have to offer – from welcoming communities to interesting jobs and outdoor adventures,” he says.

The rural councils getting behind the Think Rural scheme in the hope of drawing a younger crowd are Wairoa, Ōpōtiki, Ōtorohanga, Central Hawke’s Bay, Chatham Islands, Gore, Ruapehu, Waimate, Westland, Hurunui, Tararua, Grey, Rangitikei, Clutha, Hauraki, Mackenzie and Buller.

Each rural district has a chance to receive funding support of up to $500,000 to aid their efforts to support youth and COVID displaced workers into sustainable long-term employment.

Wannabe rural-dwellers can find the right community for them on www.thinkrural.co.nz. The site gives the skinny on each participating town and directs people to available jobs.

4 November 2021

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