Hauraki pitches rural life to young city-dwellers

Darron Steer business owner of Plumbgas in Pauanui, Peter Shields (Masterlink, Business Development Manager), and new apprentice Caleb Howard.

The Hauraki District is taking a fresh approach to powering up their business community by targeting young people in cities with specialised work skills in a brand-new campaign that will sell the benefits of living in the country.

Think Rural is launching nationwide, with eighteen rural districts signed up to the campaign.

Their goal is to contribute towards filling 1,150 jobs in rural areas with young people wanting to experience a new way of life.

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

Hauraki District Council Mayor, Toby Adams, says he hopes that encouraging young people to Think Rural will attract keen and hardworking new recruits to the area, to help grow local business.

“What’s not to love about Hauraki?

“We have everything you need and so much more on your doorstep and we’re still within reach of the cities. Beaches, mountains, trails…..just waiting for you to explore and there’s a constant supply of jobs coming up from growing businesses. With the skill shortages due to Covid-19, we want to support our local businesses to help them thrive.”

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 Ōpōtiki, Ōtorohanga, Central Hawke’s Bay, Chatham Islands, Gore, Ruapehu, Waimate, Westland, Wairoa, Hurunui, Tararua, Grey, Rangitikei, Clutha, Hauraki, Mackenzie and Buller.

Wannabe rural-dwellers can find the right community for them on

The site gives info on each participating town and directs people to available jobs.

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