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Working in New Zealand


IT and computer jobs in New Zealand : Working in New Zealand

The New Zealand Computer Industry- Frequently Asked Questions

For more detailed advice on incomes, job specifics, methods of work, immigration etc., please speak to any of our Account Managers whose role it is to know the New Zealand job environment – for contact details refer to the Contact Us page.

What are the opportunities?

There are good opportunities for both New Zealand and Offshore Contractors and for people wanting permanent positions, particularly in areas such as:

  • Both architect and technical Java and C++ skills.
  • Client server.
  • Object Oriented skills are in short supply.
  • Testing - apart from a few sites there has not been wide usage of testing tools and methodologies. The Y2000 problem has placed an overwhelming requirement on testing.
  • Electronic Commerce and Internet skills are growing in importance.

Most IT skills are in demand, particularly ECom and Client Server Developers, DBA’s, Unix, Oracle, Networking, Testers, Package Solutions, particularly SAP, Seibel and Lotus Notes.

Can I Contract or do I have to accept a permanent position?

You can contract or work in a permanent position on salary, or you can contract first and then move into permanent work if you wish. There is a larger number of permanent vacancies than contracts. Most contracts are initially 3 to 6 months in duration. Some contractors may have the same contract running for many years.

How much can I earn?

Rates of pay for both permanent and contract are quite variable at the moment, however both are rising. Generally IT contractors are still in the top 2 or 1 percent of income earners in New Zealand, for example over $80k per annum or over $100k per annum and many salaries are also at this level. You can earn and live well in New Zealand because New Zealand has a lower cost of living than most western countries. However, New Zealand’s low exchange rate means that the rates available in Europe or the United States will seldom be achieved.

Where can I work?

The main cities for work are Auckland and Wellington, which are quite different in nature and in the type of work available. Other cities, such as Christchurch, certainly have work although not of the same volume as either Auckland or Wellington.

  • Wellington is a very compact Capital city with a population of around 400,000 and sited on a circular harbour surrounded by hills. It has a temperate climate and is known for its café culture. Most of the large IT installations are located in Wellington, with fewer small/medium installations than Auckland.
  • Auckland has a slightly warmer climate than Wellington, a population of around 1.2m and is spread out over a larger area. It is also located on a harbour setting and is known as the City of Sails. It has many of the small/medium installations and fewer large sites than Wellington.
  • Accommodation in either city is not difficult to obtain. You can choose - inner city living, suburban, country, by the sea or on the hills.

How do I gain a visa or work Permit?

Visa/Work permit regulations are not as complicated as they first seem and you need to be aware of the rules administered by the Immigration Department.

We recommend, if at all possible, you gain a work permit whilst still offshore. This means you will need a job offer, either from a NZ employer when the position is permanent or from the agency when the position is a contract and 2 written job references. But the marketing rules are still the same - if you are in the New Zealand market and available to be interviewed by the client then you enhance your chances of a job.


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