Technology sector gets a boost

Travel restrictions have levelled the playing field for NZ tech companies as companies around the world were forced to communicate online because of lockdowns.

New Zealand’s tech industry has been growing faster than ever before and profitability grew three-fold between 2018 and 2019, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Last month NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller said New Zealand’s tech sector was on track to become the country’s biggest export industry, worth $16 billion by the year 2030. “The 200 largest exporters alone had $8.7b in overseas sales in 2019 and this is growing at close to $1b a year, every year,” Muller said.

There are several sub-sector taking advantage of the current global health situation:


MBIE 2019 tech industry data revealed the top 200 Kiwi tech export companies had experienced an increase of $705m in revenue over five years. NZ’s top fintech exports included Pushpay, Xero, Invenco, Vend and DataTorque, MBIE’s report said. Brislen said fintech companies enabling people to have greater control over the finances have grown in popularity in recent years.


Brislen said New Zealand’s agritech industry had made strides in recent years, but there was still a lot of room for automation in the industry.“Agriculture is essential to New Zealand’s economy so it definitely needs to be a bigger focus in terms of technology. We’ve never really automated a lot of it, but we are starting to see world-class innovation, from health monitoring prototypes for sheep to self-milking cowsheds.”

This year the government committed to investing $11.4m into the agritech sector. A report from Agritech NZ earlier this year also recommended the government looked at opportunities for the sector in a post-Covid-19 economy. It recommended that the government and agriculture industry work together to develop a trans-Tasman agritech strategy and encourage the take-up of agritech. Last year $97.3m was spent on R&D by the top 20 New Zealand agritech companies, according to the TIN Agritech Insights 2020 Report.


The gaming industry has become another popular tech export. “Local software developers are really getting stuck into it. There are new games popping up so often, it’s hard to keep track.” The industry earnt $203.4 million during the 2019 financial year, double what it made in 2017, according to the latest NZ Game Developers Industry Survey. One of those ever more popular gaming solutions are online casinos. The most innovating ones offer bonuses to their clients and bring out now games on a regular bases. There are several interesting ones but only one can attract most of the attention. You can visit the website and discover how you can place some bets and maybe take home an extra buck straight from the comfort of your couch.


Between April 2019 and May 2020, IT services exports exceeded $4 billion, with key markets in the United States, Australia and Europe, MBIE data shows. Brislen said working from home due to Covid-19 restrictions had propelled businesses to take on cloud computing. “There’s been a mad rush from companies to move everything they do on to the cloud so everyone can work remotely.”


Brislen said health tech had also experienced strong growth, with everything from innovations like artificial skin to technology enabling iPhones to check eye health. A report by Technology Investment Network (TIN) revealed healthtech companies generated $1.9b in revenue last year, and were growing at a rate of about 9 per cent. Global exports of healthcare technology accounted for $1.6b, or 87.5 per cent of revenue. The average sector wage of $85,000 was more than 40 per cent higher than the New Zealand average.

The trend is set to be the same worldwide and we will undoubtably see a surge in revenu for IT & tech companies. Be it from Europe, USA or other parts of the world.