Peace Software to lay off 55 staff in New Zealand

Von David Watson

Peace Software is to lay off 55 staff, reducing its New Zealand headcount from 140 to 86, its R&D vice president Tony Engberg says.

A plan to establish R&D centers in Australia and the U.S. has been put on hold for 9?12 months as Peace works on closing "two very large sales", Engberg says. Last month, Peace announced that it was to open R&D centers in those countries and that applications to work there from its New Zealand staff were being received.

Some of the staff who are leaving became "superfluous" after Peace finished a major deal with U.S. energy company Xcel, Engberg says.

A decision to temporarily halt development of new modules of its energy billing software is also "a big piece" of the decision to lay off the staff, he says.

"We"re sticking to our knitting."

At its peak, Peace employed approximately 250 developers in New Zealand but the number has shrunk down to 140 through attrition and a round of redundancies in January 2004.