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Heartland Strong

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Margaret Brown, Bill Kaye-Blake and Penny Payne
In Print

The future of New Zealand's rural communities is often in the news. Empty shops, depopulation and lack of jobs are offered as signs that many towns are dying. However, the strength of social ties and development of digital technologies, the innovations in rural entrepreneurship and the functioning informal economy suggest that some rural communities are in good health.

There is no getting away from the challenges to the rural sector. But what if you consider economics AND demography AND the environment, aiming for a holistic description of rural communities? Then the picture looks quite different. Rural communities have shown themselves to be resilient over many years, and that is likely to continue. Most importantly, people in rural communities, in townships and on farms, have options.

This important book, based on years of research, shows how, and provides useful insights into the ongoing process of change in rural communities and the resources on which they draw to support their resilience. It offers a positive message and some blueprints for progress.