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Searching for Community Wellbeing: Population, Work and Housing in the Town of Oamaru

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Regional settlements experience great variation in social, cultural, environmental and economic change, and the capability and resources they have to manage change.

In the Waitaki, the primary rural economy comprises agriculture, associated food processing industries, and the visitor sector. Over recent years, the demand for labour in these sectors has required an increasing workforce of overseas migrants, including a large population of Pacific Islanders. At the same time, the population has aged, so a large component of the population aged 65 years or over are not in the labour market. Both these changes create particular needs for housing and social services and the overall goal of enhanced social wellbeing. Migrants are particularly vulnerable to disadvantage in accessing housing due to their limited capital and limited knowledge of rights such as visa requirements and available support services. The provision of housing for very transient workers, including seasonal workers, is a particular issue. Responses to these issues through strategies and action plans are most successful when they are driven by the community and involve a range of stakeholders.

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