Will New Zealand become a technological hub? Which are the big tech companies there?

Summary

  • NZ has a rapidly growing tech sector
  • Auckland is the hub for technology companies
  • Fintech is one of the fastest growing subsectors
  • Government support for technology is very strong

The technology sector in New Zealand is rapidly growing. It employs more than 120,000 people and technology is the third-largest export sector. It accounts for NZ$8.7 B of exports. The industry is a major and growing business for New Zealand, accounting for 8% of its GDP and employing 5% of the workforce. Many Companies from this sector have been included in Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific index.

The tech sector has the highest-paid and higher qualified employees than all other sectors on average and it is diverse.

Advantages of New Zealand’s tech sector

New Zealand has a growing number of innovative companies that are globally focused from the start. It has a thriving start-up environment and strong support from the government.

In the technology sector, information and communications technology (ICT) sector growth has been higher than in any OECD country.  The ICT Companies have earned an international reputation for being flexible resilient and very innovative. Several big innovations recognized by the world have been done in NZ.  For instance, the most advanced and safest wireless charging system comes from an NZ-based company Power by proxy, an offshoot of Auckland University. The business is now part-funded by Korean giant Samsung and it even signed a deal with US Fortune 500 company Texas Instruments (TI). Similarly, a robotic  exoskeleton that allows paralysed people to stand and walk, developed by New Zealand's Rex Bionics, is used in rehab clinics and research hospitals in the US.

Auckland is the technology hub of NZ                     

City of Auckland has a thriving technology sector. It is NZ’s tech powerhouse. Auckland is the main technology centre in NZ which drives innovation and invites global talent.   Auckland is home to many health IT, digital, fintech, and creative technologies. Auckland has a distinct advantage of being powered by an advanced digital infrastructure, skilled workforce, and business-friendly environment.

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Main sub-sectors of the technology sector are:

Fintech

Fintech is New Zealand’s fast-growing subsectors with Auckland being the home to some of the most prominent fintech companies. Some of these companies include Pushpay, Vend, SmartPay and Payment Express. This sector’s revenue has grown by 38% over the last five years. This is also due to a favorable regulatory system that supports innovation.

Healthtech:

Auckland houses more than 500 health technology companies, with over 7000 people employed in them. Even the big companies like Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Orion Health are headquartered in Auckland.

In biotech also New Zealand offers significant advantages in medicinal plant farming, a favourable environment for innovation, counter-seasonal production and good IP protection laws. There are many new companies in the biotech space that are coming up.

Big technology companies of New Zealand

Currently, there are 200 big technology companies in New Zealand. Out of these only 29 companies are publicly listed.  For many Technology companies ASX is more attractive to list as it can reach a higher valuation.  One example of it is Zero which was listed earlier but got delisted to be listed on the ASX. However, there are very few tech companies on NZX is worrisome but NZX is not worried as some of the tech companies listed on the NZX are some of the biggest like Fisher and Paykel Healthcare Corporation  (NZX: FPH). Others have global ambitions. The S&P/NZX All Technology reflects the great support for technology stocks within our local market (a 23.4% 10-year return), and we would like to see more on show.”

Pushpay Holdings Limited (NZX: PPH) is listed on ASX as well and provides software for donor management services. Through its software it simplifies the engagement, payment, and administrative procedures.

Serko Limited (NZX:SKO) specialises in travel and booking technologies. Zeno is Serko’s travel management app using predictive workflows and has a global demand and the Company is present in Australia, China, the U.S .

Vista Group International Limited (NZX:VGL) is a leading NZ company that provides technology solutions to the global film industry. The Group also offers data analytics, box office reporting , business intelligence solutions and other services for moviegoers other movie makers.  VGL has offices in South Africa, Australia, China, United Kingdom and the Netherlands amongst other countries.

Plexure Limited (NZX: PLX) is a mobile software company. The Company’s software helps in creating a seamless purchase experience for the customers. Other technology companies that are listed on the NZX include EROAD Limited (NZX: ERD), Scott Technologies (NZX: SCT), Wellington Drive  Technologies  (NZX:WDT) etc.

Problems facing the sector

The biggest problem facing the technology sector in NZ ix the shortage of trained manpower for this sector. New Zealand’s tech sector overall has 20,000 firms of which 200 are big ones, the rest are small businesses. Overall, the sector employs 114,000 people. And according to a study it will need 4 to 5000 employees every year for new digital technology.

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