Thousands apply for free 'ultimate tech career trip' to New Zealand

More than 10,000 people have already applied for 100 spots on "the ultimate tech career trip" that could fill the gap in the industry many Kiwi companies are struggling with. 

A digital campaign has been launched as part of a scheme to attract talent from around the world in a bid to supplement Wellington's technology pool, with the city offering a free trip to 100 "lucky applicants" being flown to New Zealand for job interviews.

Wellington Regional Economy Development Agency's (WREDA) growth and innovation manager, David Jones told TVNZ's Breakfast the Look See Wellington sight has had 250,000 hits.

Currently there are 55,000 people completing applications on the site, and 11,000 have already applied and are now being screened. 

Mr Jones said there's a "global shortfall in terms of the technology industry" and they have found that big and small Kiwi companies including Xero, WETA and Trade Me have come forward to support the initiative.

"They would like to recruit really high caliber technology candidates," he said.

WREDA are partnered with Workhere New Zealand on the initiative which will see 100 people spend four days in Wellington attending pre-arranged job interviews, meet-ups, and site seeing.

The development agency are fronting $300,000 of the $850,000 total budget for the initiative.

If all 100 candidates land the jobs they interview for, the project would generate an excess of $4.5million contribution towards the regional economy, and even if only six people were recruited, they would "break even" said Mr Jones. 

Wellington agencies will fly 100 people from all around the world to NZ to fill 100 jobs. Source: Breakfast



Watch: The moment Wellington toddler gets back her favourite teddy after epic detective work by man who found it in bushes

The adventures of a toddler's lost teddy bear have come full circle, much to the delight of hundreds of social media sleuths.

Wellington man Edmund Kynoch spotted a teddy bear in some bushes while walking along Oriental Parade on Tuesday.

Although he's found and returned all sorts of knick knacks to owners in the past, including wristwatches and glasses, none seemed quite as important to Mr Kykoch as getting the beloved teddy bear back to its best friend.

He rallied his social media community on Twitter to help locate the owner, which caught the attention of Breakfast presenter Hilary Barry.

She posted a picture of "Teddy'" on her public Facebook page, which eventually led to "Teddy" being identified by the owner's mother Anna Munro.

Today, Mr Kynoch made the trip to return Teddy home, a sweet surprise for two-year-old Lily Munro, who thought Teddy was lost forever.

Lily, 2, and her teddy are reunited, all thanks to a man called Ed. Source: Breakfast


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Kiwi dollar plunges as US rate speculation grows

The New Zealand dollar has extended its decline to a seven-week low as growing speculation the US Federal Reserve will hike interest rates this month.

The kiwi dollar fell to US70.54 cents and earlier touched US70.46c, the lowest since January 12, from US71.33c late yesterday. The trade-weighted index fell to 77.34 from 77.90.

The US dollar index rose to its highest level since early January as a third Fed official this week, Fed governor Lael Brainard, said tighter monetary policy "will likely be appropriate soon".

Her comments follow those of New York Fed president William Dudley and San Francisco Fed president John Williams, who both indicated a rate hike made sense.

"The countdown is now on to Yellen's speech, which in all likelihood will determine whether the market has been correct in pushing odds of a March hike to close to 100 per cent, therefore boosting the USD," said ANZ senior economist Philip Borkin.

"Perhaps the more important questions then are what the Fed does with its dot-plots and whether we also need to start considering prospects and timing of a potential unwind in asset purchases."

The dot-plots are in the Federal Open Market Committee's Summary of Economic Projections and show where members see the fed funds rate over the next few years.

Today traders in New Zealand will be watching figures on the value of building work put in place for the fourth quarter, to round out their view of the state of activity in the property market.

This morning the New Zealand dollar traded at 93.22 Australian cents from A93.18c. It fell to 57.57 British pence from 58.10p and declined to 67.16 euro cents from 67.73c.

It fell to 80.78 yen from 81.28 yen and dropped to 4.8579 yuan from 4.9096 yuan.

A mixture of New Zealand Bank notes and coins.
New Zealand currency (file picture). Source: istock.com