An image of downtown Wellington.

Working Capital: News and events

The Working Capital project: news and events from the greater Wellington region.

Report reveals Wellington's ‘nearly invisible’ digital sector

Wellington’s burgeoning digital sector is a major contributor to the region's economy and yet it flies too much under the radar compared to other key sectors such as film and tourism, according to a report released in October 2015.

Students from Victoria's School of Management interviewed 140 business owners, managers and employees from 50 Wellington digital companies during late 2014 for a report called Wellington's Digital Sector: Growing under the radarpdf530KB .

This report explores challenges faced by companies in attracting, retaining and developing staff and its author Dr Richard Norman notes that the pioneers of Wellington’s digital sector, Trade Me, Xero and Datacom, have been joined by 400 to 500 smaller companies during the last 10 years.

"More than 20,000 people, or 10 percent of the region's work force, are in digital sector roles in these companies and within larger public and private organisations," he says.

"It's a sizeable part of the workforce, but the public has barely heard of them".

Work classified as Information, Media and Telecommunications contributes 6 percent to the region's GDP, and Professional Scientific and Technical Services 10.7 percent. By contrast, tourism, which has been a highly visible growth area of the past decade, contributes just 2.9 percent to Wellington’s GDP.

Dr Norman says the digital sector's low profile is largely because it operates on a business-to-business model, focuses on niche markets, and has a predominantly international client base.

Media and events

Capitalising on Wellington: a presentation by Dr Richard Norman
In August 2014, Dr Richard Norman presented research at a public meeting in Thorndon about how New Zealand’s most knowledge-intensive city is coming to grips with the challenges of technology change.

Material from the project’s first report, Wellington’s Knowledge Economy: Coming to grips with technology change, formed the basis of a series of articles published in the Dominion Post:

Earlier media coverage included: