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New Zealand’s Tech Sector Continues to Strive Amid the Pandemic

While growth in tech exports will continue to be significant for New Zealand’s economy, the social and economic gains that technology can enable are so vast that we believe more emphasis should be placed on technology’s importance for New Zealand.

The tech sector in New Zealand is crucial to accelerating the mass digital transformation that began last year. The technology industry can also benefit from new investment capital and investors, which will help it grow and expand. With borders remaining closed, New Zealand’s tech talent shortage has been pushed to critical levels, due to its heavy reliance on immigration.

“It is essential government and industry invest in developing our digital workforce for the medium-to-long term, while businesses explore short-to-medium term options to engage remotely with offshore tech talent,” says NZTech chairman.

As per the Chief executive of NZTech, New Zealand’s tech sector has been delivering strong year-on-year growth that has been largely unconstrained by natural resource constraints or economic downturns. In addition to annual growth in weightless exports and job creation, the sector has facilitated the digital transformation of the majority of the economy.

Over the last year, even under the pressure of covid lockdowns and border closures, the New Zealand tech ecosystem continued to grow and deliver positive impacts for its economy and society. The key takeaways from the NZ tech year showed:

  • The sector has 23,229 companies, 111,760 employees and has $8.5 billion of exports globally
  • It makes up 8%of New Zealand’s GDP and employs 5% of the workforce
  • New Zealand’s top 200 tech companies earned $12.7 billion globally in revenue
  • The sector grew 11.4% and the median salary in 2020 was $95,000
  • Each 4% of growth in the tech sector provides $2.7 billion to the GDP
  • Each tech sector job creates five new jobs in other industries

This year, NZTech was also awarded the best contribution prize at the annual New Zealand Hi-Tech awards for its efforts in fostering a socially and economically prosperous New Zealand based on technology.

Companies are driving New Zealand’s tech sector advancement in areas ranging from insurance and health to sustainability monitoring in the textile and agriculture industries, as well as project management and remote working solutions. There is truly something for everyone when it comes to innovation across the country’s tech industries, with local start-ups paving the way for seamless live mobile streaming or more established companies assisting businesses in effectively managing Big Data.

As the world slowly reopens after the pandemic, there is still a push to support local economies. It is good to know that, even in an industry dominated by global behemoths, New Zealanders have the option of supporting new and growing local tech companies as another way to help rebuild the economy.

OpenGov Asia reported while the pandemic created a short-term demand for software and services to enable business continuity, remote working, and essential services, there is a much greater opportunity for local tech innovators to transform into global players, thereby supporting this country’s strong economic future. The government has acknowledged this in its Industry Transformation Plan for digital technology, which includes assistance for local businesses seeking international expansion.

Similarly, one of the driving factors in establishing a data centre region in New Zealand is the enormous potential to fuel business growth through cloud adoption and accelerate local digital transformation.

Technology encompasses a huge body of knowledge and tools that ease the use of economic resources as a way to produce goods and services efficiently and innovatively. Technological progress is essential to economic growth and development, and the more advanced the technology available, the more quickly the local and global economy can improve.

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