“Why I have a thing for New Zealanders”

“Why I have a thing for New Zealanders… In particular, 9 reasons why I think New Zealand based companies are great to work with”.

I love working for Core Schedule. They are an NZ based company, founded by a New York expat living in Wellington. Now, it’s not the first time I have worked for a successful NZ start-up. A few years back I worked at Xero, a little Accounting SaaS company you might have heard of. Ok, not that little, in fact, Xero has gone on to be one of the most successful Startups of all time and with over 2 million subscribers globally there are no signs of it slowing down. Legend has it that Xero, which was founded by Rod Drury, was done so in an apartment with a dodgy solution for accessing wifi from a nearby café. Running his own business gave Rod insight into just how clunky traditional accounting software was, and after his money arrived from the sale of AfterMail the founding Xero team set out to develop a cloud accounting platform with the first multi-perspective general ledger. And the rest is history.

Core Schedule tackles the challenging and complex areas of healthcare rostering to improve the lives of people working at all levels in the sector. It is another successful company to come out of the thriving New Zealand tech industry. So it got me thinking, why is it thriving? AND why is it that I get drawn into working for NZ tech companies? Well, it probably comes down to aligning to my own personal values of Creativity, Innovation, Love (Care/People First), Adventure and Fun.

So based on that, here is a list of 9 reasons why it is awesome to work with Kiwis:

  • People First- Well this starts from the top. With a leader like Jacinda Ardern who actually can combine the qualities of empathy and leadership into her role and was also the first world leader to actually take maternity leave whilst in office just proves that people come first in New Zealand.  
  • Pride stems from culture and community rather than from the self, for Kiwis. Culture is respected and honoured in every gathering so there is a distinct sense of collective responsibility.
  • I am one of those Aussies who follows Jacinda Ardern on Facebook and I think it is partly because I feel like I am part of a tribe with a tribe leader that is approachable, and that I am part of the family. “Evening everyone, thought I would jump online and just check in with everyone as we all prepare to hunker down for a few weeks,” said the New Zealand leader via Facebook Live as the country prepared for its month-long Covid-19 shutdown. She pointed to her grubby sweatshirt. “It can be a messy business putting a toddler to bed.” There certainly is less ego in the hierarchy and I have felt that across both companies. 
  • Everyone plays in the band, especially leaders. Singing and dancing are part of life. Both are proven to have positive impacts on mental health and well-being. Xero even had a band for many years and at Core Schedule I have lost count how many times I’ve been asked if I do Karaoke.  
  • Companies care about purpose. The ‘Why’ factor over profit. Which I believe has much better long term effects for business. 
  • There is a balance between having fun and being productive. Which leads to even more creativity. 
  • The country is crazy beautiful, like almost unreal, a work of art perhaps. This seems to flow through into everything. Quirky, colourful, creative people and places. 
  • Emotion is celebrated in New Zealand. Feelings have value and you are not discouraged to share. I have had several male leaders across both companies get quite emotional at times which once again just highlighted true compassion, empathy and love. 
  • New Zealand is progressive. As a member of the Aussie LGBTQI+ community, this is something that I have watched with envy from afar. Keep leading the way NZ! 

So there you have it, with a list like that why wouldn’t I want to get amongst it. You should too! You don’t need to quit your job or book a flight. There are a bunch of NZ tech companies already doing great things here in Australia and you should definitely consider them in your tech stack.