Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland has gained an international reputation as a business-friendly and innovation-oriented city thanks to its vibrant manufacturing, digital, and food and beverage sectors.

New Zealand, an island country whose history is a collage of Maori, European, Pacific Island and Asian cultures, and with a population of just more than 4.5 million, is making a big impact with business innovations. And Auckland, the country’s capital and economic powerhouse, can proudly take credit for more than 65% of the country’s GDP growth.

“Auckland is the engine room of New Zealand’s economy,” says Brett O’Riley of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, “and it is predicted to grow faster than most other developed cities for some decades. It generates 36.7% of New Zealand’s GDP.” “Auckland is the heart of New Zealand’s world-class food and beverage and high-value manufacturing, and is internationally recognized as a business-friendly and innovation-oriented city, through its vibrant information and communication (ICT) industries, digital and other high-tech businesses,” he says. The ICT and digital sector, worth US$4.5 billion, experienced 80% growth in the past 10 years. The city is home to close to 7,000 companies, including Datacom, Vend and Vista Entertainment.

The food and beverage sector in Auckland is worth US$2.3 billion; two-thirds of the industry’s head offices are in the city. New Zealand is known internationally for the high quality of its food products such as dairy, fish, premium meats and wines, mainly due to the country’s ideal growing conditions and clean, green environment. Global food and beverage producers, such as Kraft foods, Pepsico International, General Mills, Bacardi and Heineken, have manufacturing bases in the city as well.

The manufacturing sector, worth US$1.2 billion, includes agriculture, horticulture, food processing, electronics, mining and aviation. The city is also a centre of excellence for health technology. Companies include Rocket Lab, Tru-Test Group and Revolution Fibres.

“The high-value manufacturing, biotechnology and health technology areas provide the best opportunity to increase exports and add value to the regional economy, to the central and local government and to economic development agencies,” says O’Riley.


1. Code of conduct: Both men and women should dress in conservative business suits and maintain a reserved demeanour.

2. Beneficial homework: Avoid comparing New Zealand to Australia in conversations, as the two are distinct countries. It’s helpful to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the culture prior to your stay.


1. The city was ranked 98th out of 442 cities in the Innovation Cities Index 2015.

2. Auckland handles 60% of New Zealand’s land and sea imports, 30% of exports and 85% of airfreight.

3. The city ranks 1st among 12 global cities for protection of minority investment.


1. Keep the change. Tipping in restaurants is not obligatory. If service is particularly good, leave 10%.

2. Aboriginal ties. With the Maori population making up more than 14% of New Zealand’s population, the Maori culture is an integral part of the country’s identity. Take in a traditional Maori performance or shop for the sacred stone called pounamu, which means “greenstone” in Maori.

3. Land, sea and road. Auckland is only half an hour away from beaches and hiking trails. If you wish to take a scenic drive, be aware that New Zealanders drive on the le side of the road.

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