Timaru mayor's cheeky reasons for Aucklanders to move south

News 26/02/2019

Custard squares, the beach, and "awesome people" - it isn't just low house prices that should attract people to Timaru, according to its mayor.

Billboards promoting the South Island town have been popping up around Auckland recently, advertising Timaru's median house price of $350,000 with the tagline: "We love our first homes".

The town's economic development agency, Aoraki Development, is behind the cheeky campaign, and Mayor Damon Odey said it is all about getting Aucklanders to move south.

"We want everyone in our town, but we thought Auckland is bursting at the seams, traffic is grinding to a halt, so we are just letting people know to get down to the centre of the South Island and check it out," Mr Odey told The AM Show.

"It is pretty cheap advertising, and now we are on TV and we are even more world famous."

He praised Aoraki Development for the campaign, which also includes the welovetimaru.co.nz website, but said Timaru's appeal goes beyond house prices.

"Well you are in the centre of the South Island and the centre of the universe. The people, it is all about the people, and they are really awesome people. Obviously, an extremely handsome mayor," Mr Odey said were just some of the great things about the town.

He said residents also had a great lifestyle because of the close proximity to both beaches and ski fields.

With Air New Zealand likely to announce dramatic price cuts to domestic routes, Mr Odey said it was the perfect time to move.

"I'll put my mayoral gown on, my chains, and I'll even shout them a lime scooter if they want one, and I'll definitely take them out for dinner."