The other thing we've noticed is the community and life even in the smallest village. They mostly all have a pub and a church. Some have a Post Office and a Store, others only one or the other. There are other services too, doctors, small hospitals, banks. And everywhere village war memorials, cleaned and adorned with poppy wreaths. There are a few lessons here for NZ I think.
Don't suck the life out of small towns, if you maintain services people will stay, housing will be affordable and with better commuter links unemployment wont be such an issue. Also, villages, towns etc here have to provide for social housing too - so they aren't elitist and all from one socio-economic band. Then you don't have deadbeat soul-less little towns with no employment, services or future for the inhabitants, and they wont be condemned to live on benefits with no hope.
Anyway that's my idea - feel free to pass it on to someone in politics with the sense to see the benefits.