We’ve always been known as the little brother to Australia: our economy is much smaller, the top five universities in Oceania are theirs, and they have almost twice the GDP per capita.
So how is Australia losing some of their best talent to the likes of us?
During the 2012-2015 period, the number of Australians moving to Wellington increased by 86%. Part of the reason behind this is because the move solves a lot of the problems that Australians face in their cities back home. There is no bubble in the housing market, allowing residents to buy a large home close to work for the same price as a dingy little 2-bedroom apartment in Sydney. There are currently no capital gains or payroll taxes here, and the NZ corporate tax rate sits at 28%-2% lower than that across the ditch. The other half of the equation is that the tech industry in Wellington is booming.
In 2015 New Zealand had 54 companies featuring on the Deloitte Fast 500 Asia Pacific list- 13 of these being based in Wellington. Australia has 80 companies on the list, despite having five times the population of NZ. What this does prove is that many New Zealand firms have an innovative edge over their trans-Tasman counterparts and it is clear to see that New Zealand is no stranger to entrepreneurial innovation especially when it comes to IT.
What this does mean is that there is enormous potential for firms to step up their talent search as people are not limited by city, region, or even country, and your ability to attract the best candidates for your organisation is only limited by the effectiveness of your talent management system.
Wellington features a ‘thriving start-up community’ much of which can be attributed to the City’s Council undertaking a number of initiatives to support growth in the IT sector as they push to help the city become NZ’s first digital city. Approximately 56% of people in Wellington are employed in knowledge-specific fields as opposed to 36% nationally with more expected in the future.
To help manage the growth, the Government has announced a new ICT Grad School for Wellington with the aim to increase the domestic supply of talent and position the city as an easy place to trial new technologies. The Mayor has also shown considerable interest in setting up a ‘tech field days’ that will highlight the nation’s IT sector to the world in a similar fashion that Mystery Creek does with their Field Days which features over 1000 exhibitors and has yearly attendance rates of nearly 40,000.
Earlier this year The World Bank rated New Zealand as the second best country in the world to do business in, finishing below Denmark and being the smallest country in the top 10. Denmark also has strong digital initiatives- they hope to be the first country to become digitalise their currency entirely and become ‘cashless’, resulting in higher security, and low handling and transport costs.