Kiwi contractors dump Pacific peso

Kiwi IT workers are dumping the 'Pacific peso' for the mighty yankee dollar.

Kiwi IT workers are dumping the "Pacific peso" for the mighty yankee dollar.

As our beleaguered currency reaches fresh lows, IT recruitment consultants say workers want to earn greenbacks both here and overseas.

"Because [the Kiwi dollar] is so worthless, people are thinking about renegotiating their contracts in US dollars," says a spokesperson at Auckland rec-ruitment agency Enterprise, Barry O'Brien.

O'Brien says in one case, a New Zealander working in Auckland as a software engineer on contract to a US firm has asked to be paid in US dollars.

"He says he's working for a US company so he will try to negotiate his contract in US dollars. It's a try on. Who knows whether it becomes a trend or whether employers agree to it," he says.

O'Brien says New Zealand has suffered an "exodus" of contractors to overseas, fuelled by higher taxes on better paid workers and a lacklustre Kiwi economy.

"There is filthy lucre [to earn] in the US and Europe. People are fleeing for economic reasons," he says.

However, this has left better prospects for those remaining.

"Companies realise they have to pay big bucks to get people on board and there are also quite a few big projects on the go at the moment."

Candle IT & T Recruitment has heard similar reports of people wanting to be paid in US dollars but says it has not been approached by anyone.

"But we would not do that anyway. If the work is done here, you have to be paid in New Zealand dollars," says contracting manager Christine Fitchew.

Candle reports improving times for contracting, with some employers now preferring to recruit contractors because of tighter employment rules under the Employment Relations Act.

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