IT invasion of NZ begins

A fresh campaign to lure overseas IT firms to New Zealand has finally paid off.

A fresh campaign to lure overseas IT firms to New Zealand has finally paid off.

US e-business company Cintra Software has expanded into the country with the hope of creating 30 jobs.

And Invest New Zealand, part of Trade New Zealand, are confident others will follow from the US and Europe.

Opening earlier this month in Auckland, Cintra have taken on six staff and plan to recruit around 20 others by the year end.

The company architects and develops Web sites for major corporations. Customers include The New York Times and the US-based Freeride.com and Priceline.com.

It is seeking people with skills in Oracle, Web Logic, Java, HTML and application architects for its new Centre of Excellence in Parnell.

The work would be primarily for Cintra's UK and US-based clients.

Cintra New Zealand spokesperson Justin Hamilton says the company moved to New Zealand because of its easy communications, skilled staff, similar communications culture to the US and the time-zone works favourably.

Invest New Zealand IT investment manager Ian Shields says over the past 18 months Invest New Zealand has switched its focus from general campaigns to specific companies and market sectors like IT, and Cintra is the first success of the new approach.

"It cost absolutely nothing to bring them here. They were exploring New Zealand and we provided information to make New Zealand a country of choice," he said.

Shields says he has other firms up his sleeve, including four US firms visiting the country over the next few weeks and a UK firm also interested at setting op operations here.

"We are trying to build up a critical mass in this area, which hopefully should lead to more [inward investors]. If we do, our software engineers will stay and our expats return," he says.

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