Stylised kayaks form the reception desk at Google’s larger new office in Auckland, opening shortly. Photo / Supplied
Google is setting up its first New Zealand-based engineering team – a group that will work on new areas for an existing, un-named privacy and AI project.
But staffing up the team will depend, in
part, on whether the Government can pry open the borders a little wider.
The new engineering team is part of three-pronged push by the tech giant to expand its NZ presence, which also involves moving into a larger office and “hardwiring” local customers like Trade Me into new cloud data centres across the Tasman (more on both below).
Country director Caroline Rainsford – who spoke to the Herald with Urs Hölzle, a top Google executive who recently relocated from the company’s Mountain View, California, head office to New Zealand for a year – said the engineering project would involve sourcing staff through three avenues.
One is relocating an existing engineering team from the US to NZ. A second is hiring locally (two roles will shortly be advertised, meaning those who want to work for the tech giant no longer have to pack their bags for California) and partnering with local tertiary institutions. And the third is encouraging highly skilled Kiwis to come home.
Rainsford said Google already has a “minimum viable team” of engineers who have volunteered to shift from the US to the NZ, and the company anticipates more will make the move over time to…