MATAURA MATTERS

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I recently tuned into watch the new Nigel Latta series on “hard topics” and caught the episode about immigration.
What a great way Mr Latta delivers information so the non-expert can actually understand.
In the past I have been involved insupporting people in their immigration application and I promise you all it is not easy to gain entry to New Zealand.
The most startling information for me was the ageing population issue even though I have attended a few workshops, but the programme really brought it home.
Twenty years ago we had a ratio of four employed Kiwis to every one not working. In the next 15 years wewill be down to two employed to one not working.
That is a serious deficit in taxes to support services.
We are living in a budget-cut environment with services reduced and centralised away from Southland already.
So what can we do?
Be the best place to live and raise a family. I think we already are, of course, but let’s continue tostay ahead of every other province.
We need to attract and retain our young families so they want to raise their children here and invest locally.
And we need to ensure we have the infrastructure to support the targeted growth of attracting 10,000 more residents to Southland (Southland Regional Development Strategy).
We need to encourage creative business development, ensure we have adequate and available warm housing and cutting-edge technology.
The easiest thing us southern folk can do is welcome new families to our district.
Somewhere in your whakapapa someone took the risk to re-settle in a new country for a better future. We are that future.
So to the influx of new homeowners and families who have joined the Mataura community, welcome and thank you for choosing us.