Some Aucklanders love idea of Timaru

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by Chris Tobin

The Seven Sharp television programme recently extolled the virtues of Timaru and now a campaign has been launched to entice Auckland families to move to the town for its jobs and affordable homes.

Nigel Davenport, of Aoraki Development, said Timaru was being promoted in Auckland via billboards and social media to encourage people to move south.

“The timing couldn’t be better as a follow-up to Seven Sharp.
“There’s been massive feedback [to the show] and the social media has been fantastic.”

Included among comments on Seven Sharp‘s Facebook page are: “There you have it! Timaru is the jewel of the south!”

“Might have to apply for a transfer,” read another.

“Great place. Spent ages 8-15 there. Would consider moving back if I got a great job.”

Mr Davenport said young families were not the only target.

“The first focus is on those keen to advance their careers and get up the property ladder but it is not solely directed at younger people.”

Last week, billboards carrying the slogan “we love Timaru” went up at a spot in Mt Eden, Auckland, where an estimated 20,000 vehicle movements were recorded each day.

The billboards highlighted the affordable first homes available in Timaru, together with the easy commute time. At the same time, six short promotional videos were launched on social media.

The idea for the campaign arose earlier this year after Aoraki Development’s annual stakeholder survey highlighted how housing affordability was a key factor for businesses attracting young, skilled staff to Timaru.

“Our businesses need more skilled staff. The campaign is a bit in your face but to sit back and do nothing isn’t an option,” Mr Davenport said.

As part of the campaign, billboards at the southern and northern entrances to Timaru have been updated to carry the “We love Timaru” message.