Survey finds capital’s pay outstrips Auckland’s

Projects fuel demand for IT staff in Wellington

A combination of factors in Wellington is pushing pay rates for many IT jobs above those in Auckland, says Jason Walker, New Zealand regional director of recruitment firm Hays.

“There’s a lot of transformation and change taking place in the financial services sector, for example — there are many IT projects in that area,” he says.

According to Hays’ 2008 salary survey, which measures salaries paid by the firm’s clients, network designers averaged $120,000 in Wellington and $100,000 in Auckland, while network engineers averaged $82,000 in the capital and $70,000 in Auckland.

Other examples of Wellington pay being higher include an average of $118,000 for IT managers, as opposed to $110,000 in Auckland, and an average for sales directors in Wellington of $165,000, compared with $150,000 in Auckland.

Average pay for CIOs in Auckland lagged Wellington rates — at $160,000 as opposed to $180,000.

Across many other IT jobs, including junior to mid-level business analysts and database administrators, Wellington rates were also higher. Many positions offered similar rates for both cities, but few Auckland positions commanded higher pay than in the capital. One exception to the trend was security consultants, who averaged $110,000 in Auckland and $100,000 in Wellington.

Developments such as KiwiSaver and the tax cuts scheduled for October are driving a lot of activity in the financial services sector and at the Inland Revenue Department, Walker says.

“When you make a big change in policy, such as the tax changes in October, you need an infrastructure to back it up”, he says.

“It’s not like just hitting a button — you need a lot of IT for such upgrades.”

The activity in financial services and tax, combined with projects in progress at many government departments, and at Wellington-based utilities, and oil and gas companies, means the capital is very busy IT-wise, he says.

While the focus is on these areas in Wellington, in Auckland much current IT activity revolves around development, with .Net and Java specialists in demand.

That’s being driven by businesses upgrading their web capability, he says.

“Companies are looking at websites as more than fashion accessories and want something interactive,” Walker says.

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