Regional Technology Investment Network (TIN) Report shows Auckland’s top tech export companies have grown five times faster than the general Auckland economy over the past five years
A new report on Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s technology export industry has found that Auckland tech exporters are helping propel the region towards a fast growth, high wage, high productivity economy, with exports projected to reach $11.8 billion by 2027.
Since 2018, Auckland’s leading tech export companies have grown at five times the pace of the general Auckland economy. With company revenue exceeding $8 billion in 2022 and projected to reach $13.4 billion in five years’ time, the industry has the potential to support greater productivity, prosperity and wellbeing for Auckland, according to the report.
The 2022 Auckland Tech Insights Report was commissioned by Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, the region’s economic and cultural agency, and conducted by TIN. The report focuses exclusively on the 112 Auckland-based companies that featured on last year’s TIN200; the annual list of the country’s top 200 high-tech export companies by revenue earned.
Tech a significant contributor to regional growth and local employment
Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s TIN200 companies contributed significantly to regional economic growth and local employment last year, according to the report. In 2022 alone, the companies created 1300 new tech jobs — three times the rate of the general Auckland economy — and helped the industry deliver around $1.4 billion in wages into the local economy.
According to the report, the average Auckland TIN200 company wage is $88,660; 17 per cent higher than the Auckland average wage.
In addition, Auckland TIN200 companies injected $796 million into research and development (R&D) efforts last year, up 16 per cent on the previous year. This equates to 10 cents for every dollar earned, outstripping national R&D spending, which as a portion of GDP is less than two per cent.
Marissa Brindley, Head of Tech Economy and Skills at Tātaki Auckland Unlimited says, “Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s leading tech companies are a force multiplier for the regional economy — the industry is delivering top-salary job growth alongside high productivity for every tech job created. Auckland also remains the epicentre of New Zealand tech exports, making up an impressive 54 per cent of total TIN200 revenue.”
“The report identified that export and innovation growth, investment and a focus on increasing diversity and skills are all vital to the future success of these companies and the wider industry. These are obviously areas we will be focusing on as it presents opportunities for the region’s people, in particular opening career pathways for rangatahi,” says Marissa Brindley.
“The Auckland tech industry is leading the charge in New Zealand’s race to improve productivity and diversify trade,” says TIN’s Head of Research, Alex Dickson, author of the report.
“Our research shows the region’s tech employees are some of the most productive in the land, helping local tech firms compete successfully in global markets. The revenue per employee of Auckland TIN200 company employees is $255,232 compared to the general Auckland value of $140,804. It’s also encouraging to see Auckland tech firms funnelling greater portions of revenue into research and development activities.”
“Auckland is a portal for $6.8 billion of tech-based trade, and an increasing amount of software as a service and other weightless exports that support the low-carbon economy. Moreover, the advent of open finance via the landmark consumer data right — a way for consumers to securely share data that’s held about them with trusted third parties — could help Auckland – New Zealand’s quasi-finance-tech capital – reach international tech-hub status,” says Alex Dickson.
Auckland the gateway to New Zealand’s international tech presence
More than 80 per cent of Auckland-based TIN200 companies’ revenue comes from outside Aotearoa, according to the report.
Auckland is the gateway to New Zealand’s international tech presence, accounting for 59 per cent ($6.8 billion) of total New Zealand TIN200 exports. North America, Australia and Europe are dominant markets for Auckland, contributing 29 per cent ($2.4 billion), 22 per cent ($1.8 billion) and 14 per cent ($1.2 billion) of total revenue respectively. Meanwhile, Auckland exports to Asian countries (excluding China) increased 21 per cent ($138 million) in 2022.
Key highlights from local board areas
Howick: 39.3 per cent share of total Auckland TIN200 Revenue
Devonport-Takapuna: 23.5 per cent revenue growth in 2022
Waitematā: 15 TIN200 Software Solutions companies
Maungakiekie-Tāmaki: 1243 new staff employed globally since 2020
Kaipātiki: $416 million total revenue earned from five TIN200 companies
Report part of Tech Tāmaki Makaurau programme
The report falls under Tātaki Auckland Unlimited’s Tech Tāmaki Makaurau programme, a three-year plan launched in 2022 to further position Auckland as a global epicentre of innovation, technology and talent that creates an inclusive and equitable future for all. Tech Tāmaki Makaurau will position Auckland, and New Zealand, as a thriving tech hub.
The insights have been structured around the three pillars of the Tech Tāmaki Makaurau strategy: manaakitanga (attracting home-grown and international talent), kaitiakitanga (a sustainable and equitable future) and kōtahitanga (a globally connected, inclusive and collaborative tech city).
The report offers the ability to measure and monitor development and growth of the industry, providing a baseline for Tātaki Auckland Unlimited to determine how Tech Tāmaki Makaurau interventions are to be delivered.