While Australia laments the softening of the mining boom and its impact on the overall economy, New Zealand has quietly been experiencing an economic renaissance, particularly in the technology sector.
IT&T job numbers have steadily increased in New Zealand as the nation experiences an economic boom thanks to China’s voracious appetite for its dairy products and the $NZ40 billion rebuild of its third largest city – Christchurch.
Australia boasts the world’s largest mining company (BHP) NZ is home to the world’s largest dairy company (Fonterra) and its impact has been equally as profound.
Optimistically, the New Zealand Government is ensuring this boom is no flash in the pan with Callaghan Innovation, a newly created government outfit, pledging to award more than $140 million in research and development grants to local technology businesses.
Coupled with Christchurch’s rebuild which is not expected to peak until 2017, the economic climate in New Zealand could be looking very bright for the foreseeable future.
Leading IT&T recruitment specialist in the ANZ region, Talent International, have especially prospered from the boom with its on-going government contracts coming to fruition at the same time as the economy strengthens.
“It’s been great timing for us. Not only have we seen our positive flow on effects of our government contracts, there’s increased investing in New Zealand, in local businesses and start ups like never before” said Lindsay Braganza, General Manager of Talent International, Wellington, New Zealand.
Since July 2013 Talent International has increased it’s IT&T contractor numbers across New Zealand by a sizeable 42%. Ashley Sadler, General Manager of Talent International’s Auckland office indicated that it was proving difficult to keep up with demand with significant activity in the SME sector.
Braganza said much of the IT&T jobs growth was showing in areas that demand skills in digital media, software development and security and architecture, across the market. But there was also significant recruitment in the niche technical space with SAP, Business Intelligence and analytics high in demand along with more mainstream technologies such as Microsoft Dynamics. “Overall New Zealand is brimming with a new found confidence and positivity in IT&T” said Richard Earl founding Managing Director of Talent International.
Recent figures from an ANZ Bank survey found NZ businesses are the most confident they’ve been since 1994. Wages are rising, as is consumer spending. “Its been called the rock star economy with its declining unemployment, low interest rates and net immigration to name a few but the most exciting part of it is the forward thinking investment in technology and telecommunications” said Earl.
New Zealand has good track record of producing some world-class technology entrepreneurs given its international role as test market for many fledging tech products such as EFTPOS. Earl said companies such as Xero, TradeMe and Orion Health were working proof the New Zealand market is a fertile landscape for growing technology businesses.