Back to All News Articles

Wellington's Tech Scene - Not All Doom and Gloom!

Featured 1

Published Date: 29th May 2024

Having just joined Beyond Recruitment in the Technology, Transformation, & Digital team, I was interested in gaining a broader understanding of Wellington's current tech market and what the future looks like.

This blog will delve into Wellington's current market challenges and what this means for our tech industry professionals. I’ll be looking at some key players and innovative startups that are thriving in Wellington and what the future may hold for growth opportunities across tech here in the capital.

Current Market Challenges & Opportunities in Wellington:

Wellington’s economic hub is going through a lot of changes at the moment. With the new change of government in place, we are noticing significant variations in the private and public sectors, particularly across government organisations. Businesses are downsizing significantly and implementing hiring freezes. From a recruitment perspective, we are noticing a general influx in the candidate market across both permanent and contract roles, affecting most industries, including Technology, Transformation, & Digital. Navigating this difficult space that affects so many of us requires our professional network to be kind to each other and support those greatly affected by this sudden turbulent market.

In Wellington's tech sector, talent competition and limited funding pose challenges alongside the country's small market size and geographic isolation. However, the city's collaborative ecosystem and high quality of life attract global talent, while remote work trends offer opportunities for international expansion. Government initiatives and Wellington's focus on sustainability and creativity further reinforce its potential as a tech hub, promising continued growth and innovation in the industry.

Government Support and Initiatives:

While our government is trying to save on costs at this time, Wellington's tech industry strongly benefits from robust government support and initiatives aimed at fostering innovation and growth. Through programs such as MBIE’s (Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment) Innovation Policy and the Digital Technologies Industry Transformation Plan, the government provides funding, resources, and strategic guidance to support research, development, and collaboration within the sector. This support extends to startups and established companies alike, offering financial incentives, regulatory frameworks, and access to networks that facilitate innovation and expansion.

Government backing plays a vital role in positioning Wellington as a competitive player in the global tech landscape, driving investment, talent attraction, and industry advancement. As a result, the city's tech ecosystem is set up to thrive, creating opportunities for economic growth and driving positive impact both locally and beyond.

Key Players:

While many businesses in Wellington have gone quiet for the time being, we still have some key influential tech companies driving innovation locally and globally. For example, Xero, renowned for its cloud-based accounting software, made the 2024 Edition - Top 15 Accounting Software Report, which compares the leading accounting software vendors on Business-Software.

Then there is the famous Weta Digital, a pioneering visual effects studio behind iconic films listed by NZIER (New Zealand Institute of Economic Research) as one of New Zealand’s best-known post-production firms that continues to win international work, reflected in their revenue growth rates.

Trade Me is another key player, recognised as one of the country's largest online marketplaces, connecting millions of users. Additionally, AoFrio, listed on the NZX (New Zealand Stock Exchange), develops sustainable solutions for global retailers. These companies, based in Wellington, are reshaping industries and fostering entrepreneurship in the city's diverse tech ecosystem.

Wellington’s Start-up Culture:

Wellington's start-up culture also thrives on innovation and collaboration, providing a rich landscape for entrepreneurs to turn bold ideas into reality. Among these notable startups are Sharesies, LanzaTech, Mobi2Go & Ethique. These startups epitomise Wellington's ethos of creativity and problem-solving while driving positive change both locally and globally. For example, MoneyHub shared this year that Sharesies is an innovative business that has brought investing into the hands of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders. They are also revolutionising investment accessibility with their user-friendly platform. As reported on RNZ in an article called ‘Carbon Recycling Company LanzaTech Captures Interest,’ we read about how a NZ company is recycling pollution into products like biofuel and packaging, capturing the attention of several retail giants.

According to, Mobi2Go is streamlining restaurant operations through digital ordering solutions, and listed under Kiwi Bank's thriving businesses on their website is Ethique, which leads the charge in sustainable beauty, offering plastic-free alternatives to traditional products.

Having friends with various start-up businesses in Wellington, I understand the key to their success has been ensuring that their product or service has a need or want in the Wellington market, so doing the research piece is critical.

Most importantly, ensuring their digital footprint for their new business is promoted through the right channels to the right audience. Wellington definitely has a strong heartbeat for its people, supporting smaller businesses and embracing new, boutique, sustainable, and trendy brands. Public celebrations, such as our Newtown Festival earlier this year, showcased some wonderful New Zealand-owned pop-up shops and start-up businesses, which had a massive turnout. The vibe is that the people of Wellington generally want to support smaller, locally-owned businesses.

Digital Transformation in Wellington:

In Wellington, businesses across sectors are swiftly embracing digital transformation to meet evolving consumer needs. From banking to healthcare and education, digital technologies are reshaping traditional practices. Banking institutions are adopting online platforms, retailers are embracing e-commerce, and healthcare providers are implementing telemedicine solutions. These changes highlight Wellington's commitment to innovation and adaptation in a digital-driven world.

Talent and Education:

Wellington also benefits from a robust pool of tech talent attracted by its innovative ecosystem and quality of life. Leading educational institutions offer programs in computer science and digital media, while initiatives like the Wellington ICT Graduate School provide practical training, ensuring a steady supply of skilled professionals to drive innovation and growth in the city's tech sector.

Collaboration and Networking:

Wellington's tech community thrives on collaboration, fostering a culture of knowledge-sharing and partnership. Through events like TechWeek and organisations like Startup Weekend Wellington, professionals come together to exchange ideas and create connections. Coworking spaces like BizDojo and CreativeHQ serve as hubs for collaboration, supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the city's vibrant tech ecosystem.

Future Outlook:

Despite things feeling like they are on hold right now, with the majority of businesses waiting anxiously for their new budgets for the financial year, Wellington still has many positive attributes contributing to its success, collaboration, and innovation across the Technology, Transformation, & Digital market. Our tech industry is poised for continued growth and innovation, driven by key trends. Emphasis on sustainability will fuel innovation in green technology, while the remote work revolution that COVID-19 birthed will reshape how companies operate, already propelling us eight years ahead in the digital age compared to where we were before the pandemic. Investments in talent development will ensure a skilled workforce, while global connectivity will open up new market opportunities. Key players like Xero and Weta Digital, alongside innovative startups like Sharesies and LanzaTech, drive forward groundbreaking ideas and are reshaping industries both locally and globally. Government initiatives are also strengthening this ecosystem, fostering growth and innovation while addressing challenges.

Wellington's commitment to digital transformation, coupled with its robust talent pool and collaborative community, positions it as a beacon of tech excellence relative to our economic and political position. Looking ahead, the city's potential for future growth is undeniable. With an informed community, we will be able to best support each other through these hard times while also embracing opportunities in sustainability, global connectivity, and continued innovation, moving us towards even greater heights in the tech world here in Wellington.

If you're interested in exploring opportunities in Wellington's dynamic tech scene, we'd love to hear from you. Whether you're a tech professional seeking new challenges or a company looking for top talent, our team at Beyond Recruitment is here to assist. Contact us to discuss how we can help you navigate the Technology, Transformation, & Digital landscape in Wellington.

Charity Storyboard