New Zealand's top salaries by industry and region revealed

Remuneration can be tricky – especially if you're not paying industry rates

New Zealand's top salaries by industry and region revealed

If you’re a business operating in Otago and you have administration staff, you’re likely paying them more than any other business in New Zealand. New data has revealed Otago has New Zealand’s highest average salary by region and administrative and support services have the highest average salary by industry.  

Software company MyHR has released its annual Salary and Employment Report which collects data from 1,250 Kiwi companies covering a total of 27,000 employees. The report analyses remuneration, turnover, and restructure data from April 2021 to March 2022. The average salary in highest paying region, Otago is $70,838, followed closely by Taranaki on $68,183 and Auckland in third on $64,650. The region with the lowest average salary is Manawatu-Whanganui followed by Waikato and the Hawkes Bay.

In terms of industry, administrative and support services have the highest average salary on $89,799 followed by finance and insurance on $88,400 and professional, scientific, and technical services on $87,022. The industry with the lowest average salary was education and training followed by accommodation and food services.

Read more: Remuneration hot topics

When broken down into specific roles, the top five average salaries were project manager, operations manager, quantity surveyor, business development manager and site manager. The lowest average salary by role was production operator followed very closely by cleaner and front of house staff.

Is the great reshuffle upon us?

As NZ businesses and the economy open back up, employers face considerable pressure in the face of rising inflation, ongoing supply chain issues, and addressing skills gaps. On top of all that, employees are revaluating their priorities, demanding flexible working options, or leaving their jobs altogether. The data also revealed that overall staff turnover increased to 58.2% across NZ in the last year, up 10% from 2020 to 2021. The same metric last year was 1% down on the year before. Industries that had the most significant rises in turnover were IT, scientific and technical services, healthcare, education and accommodation and food services.

Jason Ennor, CEO at MyHR said: “This highlights the need for employers to find new solutions to address high staff turnover. Leaders and HR teams are going to have to be clever, innovative, and open to adapting.”

Ennor suggested that competitive pay packages that are in line with market growth and being creative with appealing to current employee desires will be key for employers moving forward. 

Read more: How progressive pay policies could save your business

“We are seeing companies that have ample cash-flow being able to offer very competitive salary packages in line with market wage growth. Others are being creative with their remuneration offerings, appealing to employees’ desire for better benefits, work-life balance, or development opportunities.

Average salaries by region

  • Manawatu-Whanganui: $50,763
  • Waikato: $51,658
  • Hawke's Bay: $54,424
  • Marlborough: $60,364
  • Northland: $61,572
  • Bay of Plenty: $61,743
  • Wellington: $63,241
  • Canterbury: $63,415
  • Auckland: $64,650
  • Taranaki: $68,183
  • Otago: $70,838

Average salaries by industry

  • Education and Training: $51,526
  • Accommodation and Food Services: $51,909
  • Retail Trade: $52,220
  • Wholesale Trade: $60,806
  • Public Administration and Safety: $61,166
  • Manufacturing: $61,852
  • Arts and Recreation Services: $62,549
  • Other Services: $62,861
  • Transport, Postal and Warehousing: $66,432
  • Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services: $66,472
  • Health Care and Social Assistance: $66,701
  • Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services): $68,746
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing: $69,519
  • Construction: $69,916
  • Information Media and Telecommunications: $75,763
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services: $87,022
  • Financial and Insurance Services: $88,400
  • Administrative and Support Services: $89,799

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