Kaitangata — so hot right now

Bryan Cadogan.
Bryan Cadogan.
A small Otago town is continuing to attract the gaze of a troubled world as thousands contact the local mayor eager to move there.

Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan told the Otago Daily Times more than 10,000 people from across the world had contacted him and other locals about moving to Kaitangata.

The interest in moving to the South Otago town, which has a population of just 800 people, comes after its attempt to entice people to move there and work with offers of a section and ready-built house from as little as $230,000 made headlines across the world.

Mr Cadogan said he had received more than 7000 messages through Facebook alone.

Others had emailed the council, contacted his family members, and Kaitangata Promotions chairman Evan Dick, who came up with the offer, was "getting smashed'' with inquiries.

After speaking to some of the world's biggest media outlets, including the BBC and The Guardian, Mr Cadogan believed the story was resonating with a world unsettled by Brexit and other problems.

"They think in Europe, just with so much unsettling news, it was just nice to have a good news story and [to know] there is somewhere safe in the world.''

The story also struck a chord in a world where a lot of people were struggling financially and "going week to week just paying rent''.

He was unsure how many genuine inquiries would come of the global interest, but the numbers were so high "it had to mean something''.

"To me probably the biggest thing is that I am hearing back from long-term Kaitangata residents how they are just feeling so proud of their town.''

There had also been a massive spike in interest from other parts of New Zealand - where the median price for a house is $577,829 - which were more likely to come to something.

Mr Cadogan said he had enjoyed speaking to the world's media about the district he loved, but the "atomic'' response had shocked him.

"I've been in politics for 21 years and never ever did I think we would get a response like this.''


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