Otago townspeople trying to attract global interest in moving to their town have been forced to issue a statement pouring cold water on any suggestion they'd actually pay migrants to move.

International media outlets jumped on the story of Kaitangata's bid for new residents. But the mayor is now getting swamped by calls from people who think they'll be paid up to $160,000 to move.

The statement, just issued runs like this:

Thank you very much for your interest about living and working in the Clutha District, we certainly were not expecting this story to go global!


There is currently a story that has been published by overseas media that we are paying people $160,000 to move to Kaitangata and people should ring the Mayor about it. This is NOT TRUE. People are not being paid to move to Kaitangata and you should not contact the Mayor about it.

If you are genuinely interested in the house and land packages in Kaitangata, which are on sale for $230,000 or want to know more about working and living in our district, and if you live outside of New Zealand the first thing you will need to do is check out our immigration rules to find out if you're eligible to live and work here.
If you do meet the criteria and you'd like to know more about the affordable House and Land packages ON SALE in Kaitangata, you need to visit http://www.cluthacountry.co.nz/live-in-clutha/hous... to view the prospectus.
Read the full statement here:

More than 5000 messages have been left with the mayor of Kaitangata from people around the world eager to live in the tiny town.

The community of just 800 people has been pushing to expand its numbers in order to fill the numerous job vacancies and affordable houses by appealing to city-dwellers to make the move to the mouth of the Clutha river.

Many British citizens were citing the Brexit as their reason for wanting to move down under, the Guardian has reported.

The most interest had reportedly come from Syria, Poland, the US and Britain.

"We've been getting smashed," Bryan Cadogan, the local mayor of Clutha, told the Guardian.