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Wednesday, 02 April 2014 17:20

Candle heads south in NZ as Christchurch IT salaries head north Featured

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Salaries for IT professionals in Christchurch are on the rise, according to a New Zealand recruitment agency which says that new data shows that wages in the city have ‘spiked at 10%’ in the past six months.

According to Candle New Zealand Country Manager, Troy Hammond - citing data from MySalaryPortal.co.nz - Christchurch’s average IT salary has risen from $73,200 to $80,200 since mid-2013.

Hammond was speaking as Candle - a sister company of Candle Australia and part of the Clarius Group of companies - opened a new office in Christchurch, the company’s first on-the-ground presence in the South Island. Candle has North Island offices in Auckland and Wellington.

Candle’s new Christchurch office is located in the suburb of Burnside, which houses the city’s biggest technology park, and is headed up by local 15-year recruitment industry veteran Alan Diepraam.

According to Hammond, the Christchurch wages survey showed that top-tier earners included a Chief Information Officer working in the telecommunications sector who had secured a $275,000 wage.

“A combination of demand for skills for Christchurch’s post-earthquake rebuild and a growing cluster of successful technology exporters has caused the city to outstrip both Wellington and Auckland which has experienced wage increases of only 7.3% ($86,300) and 6% ($80,300) respectively,” Hammond said.

Hammond cautioned, however, that candidates that still needed to be realistic about salary expectations.

“Employers are still very selective with recruitment requirements and salary expectations are part of that mix. Candidates with a salary indication well above market rates are unlikely to be successful.”

Hammond says Candle has 5,000 Canterbury-based candidates already registered on the company’s database and has been supporting candidates and employers in the region over a long period, and the timing is now right to “play an even bigger part in the Christchurch market.”

He also forecast continued strong growth in the region in the short- to medium-term.

“There is a broad range of roles on offer from customer support to graduates, ICT developers, engineers, architects, business analysts and product managers to Chief Information Officer and Chief Technical Officer level executives.
 
“Businesses here are talking about the continued progress of the area in becoming the Silicon Valley of New Zealand with a lot of start-ups coming on-line, interest from venture capital partners and export driven growth in software products. So we are confident Candle will succeed in increasing its footprint markedly in the region."

Hammond also says that Christchurch features a large spectrum of IT industry players - "from government, small-medium businesses, publicly-listed companies and start-ups as well as some of the New Zealand’s most innovative and successful software, hardware and electronics companies - and it is all about growth."

“There is a real focus on the development of software products for international markets with a group of successful software businesses recently listed on the New Zealand stock exchange.”

Hammond cites a Christchurch Development Corporation report which found that technology contributes about $880 million to the local GDP, but that there are skill shortages, with some of the larger employers looking offshore.

“There is a broad range of roles on offer from customer support to graduates, ICT developers, engineers, architects, business analysts and product managers to Chief Information Officer and Chief Technical Officer level executives,” Hammond concludes.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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