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Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
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Kiwi beancounters are Asia Pacific's happiest

New Zealand finance and accounting professionals are the most satisfied with their salaries in the Asia Pacific region, according to a new survey.The latest figures released by the global recruiter Robert Half International indicate 67% of people workin

By Kristina Koveshnikova
Wed, 11 Jul 2018

New Zealand finance and accounting professionals are the most satisfied with their salaries in the Asia Pacific region, according to a new survey.

The latest figures released by the global recruiter Robert Half International indicate 67% of people working in the financial sector are happy about pay cheques they take home. The average across the region was 54%, which matched the level of satisfaction across the Tasman in Australia.

Fifty-five percent of New Zealanders surveyed said they believe their salary is fair and in line with the market. That is the highest in the region, with the Asia Pacific average at 48%.

Kiwis were also the most loyal to their employers compared with those in the other four Asia Pacific countries surveyed including: Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Megan Alexander, general manager at Robert Half International, told the National Business Review Kiwis came on top in the survey due to the country’s widespread small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) business model.

“The satisfaction is likely to be [due to] the SME culture that we have in New Zealand; it tends to be a working culture that promotes loyalty and people have been grateful to keep their jobs during the recession.”

Ms Alexander said loyalty is likely to be arising from people being “too frightened” to lose or change their jobs in the current economic environment and stability is the new essential component of employees’ satisfaction.

“Before the recession it was all about career progression, mentor boss and dollars – a combinations of those things - where in today’s environment the number one driver is the stability and that’s because of all the uncertainties and redundancies that have been very prominent.

“In today’s climate people feel comfortable that they are being looked after by their current employer.”

Forty-six percent of Kiwi finance and accounting respondents said they feel it is necessary to switch jobs in order to secure higher pay. This is lower than the survey’s average of 55% and considerably below Hong Kong (65%) and Singapore (72%).

But Kiwis are not simply being modest about their salaries, which in many cases haven’t changed over the past 18 months; house prices are typically lower in New Zealand and mortgages are easier to service as interest rates are also lower.

For example Australian official interest rates have risen six times since early October and are now at 4.5%, compared with just one increase in New Zealand to 2.75%.

But a pay cheque is just one factor in the overall satisfaction levels of New Zealand employees. Urban Australians take much longer getting to work than urban New Zealanders, said Ms Alexander.

“The reality is happiness isn’t just about dollars it’s about a lifestyle and a lot of Kiwis can live quite close work and have very short commute and don’t have to spend hours trying to get to work.”

By Kristina Koveshnikova
Wed, 11 Jul 2018
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Kiwi beancounters are Asia Pacific's happiest
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