With its first wave of staff settled into a temporary office in Napier, cloud-based accounting firm Xero is on another recruitment drive with an aim to build up to 40 staff in Hawke's Bay by the end of the year.
Chief executive Rod Drury said there were currently 17 staff operating out of an office in the New Zealand Technology Group building on Carlyle St, Napier, and they were looking for 12 more personnel to add to what he said was an impressive talent pool.
"We have been really impressed with the calibre of people we've found, it's an experiment opening up in Hawke's Bay and it's going really well."
He said the move to open a regional office was prompted by a desire to prove that the Government's investment in ultrafast broadband had enabled companies such as Xero to create quality regional jobs to complement those in the larger city centres.
Xero had offices in Wellington and Auckland and the move also took some pressure off those buildings, Mr Drury said.
"We wanted to have some resiliency from earthquakes with this regional site so staff can still operate if one of the other buildings needs to close."
Two of the current staff had been transferred within the company, the other 15 had been employed locally, he said.
"We have found in the provinces you get very motivated, loyal people.
"But we are also finding that some of our staff from 10 years ago who may have been single are now having kids and they are wanting to go to the provinces for the lifestyle.
"A lot of other businesses in New Zealand are watching what we are doing and what is happening in Hawke's Bay and this is validating to those other companies that moving to the provinces is viable."
He added that initiatives such as the cycleways, and developments such as Marine Parade and Te Mata Peak were drawcards for people to move to the area to live and work.
He also congratulated the local councils for what they were doing to open up more land for residential development to meet the growing demand for housing.
"The councillors really understand, and they are working quickly to open up new areas where people can live."
Mr Drury said the company was working with Wallace Developments on a new office building at Ahuriri, which was expected to be ready to move into at the end of May.
After the relocation, some technical teams would transfer to the new office, over and above the 40 staff expected to be employed by the end of the year.