Software giant plans new IT jobs

New Zealand's leading health software company Orion Health expects to create 40 IT jobs in the next 12 months in Christchurch.

"They are good jobs too," said Orion Health chief executive Ian McCrae.

McCrae and the Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Amy Adams, yesterday opened the company's new offices in Hazeldean Business Park in Addington after a renovation to accommodate the growth in the team to 64 and expectations that number will rise to more than 100 in the next 12 months.

Staff include software developers, implementation consultants, health professionals and support workers.

McCrae said the company expected to recruit locally through its partnership with the University of Canterbury. The students would get work experience during holidays with Orion, making them "pretty employable".

The company was working closely with Rod Carr, the university's vice-chancellor. It also had a strong relationship with the Canterbury District Health Board and Pegasus, the local GP group.

"Through those two groups we will be able to do a lot of innovation," McCrae said.

Orion Health's Christchurch team was focusing on projects under the company's strategic partnership with CDHB and contract with the South Island Health Alliance of five South Island DHBs.

The hospital management software being developed by Orion in Christchurch was important to the South Island and was also being sold to premier hospitals in Asia and Europe.

McCrae said Orion Health was typically growing each year by 10 per cent to 40 per cent.

Orion Health set up its first office in Christchurch several days before the February 22, 2011, earthquake, planning on about five staff but only one or two were willing to come to Christchurch after the big shake. The office built up numbers as local people looked for jobs after the earthquakes.

Orion had been one of the first tenants then at Hazeldean Business Park, when incentives and inducements were available to tenants. But after the earthquake all the space was tenanted in a couple of days and incentives and inducements disappeared.

"The landlord visited us after the earthquake and nine months later he wrote us a cheque because we had negotiated a very good deal beforehand," McCrae said.

The company's key development operations were now in Auckland and Christchurch. It has 1100 staff in 26 offices worldwide.

The Press