Amazon Web Services opening NZ Cloud Region set to create 1000 new jobs with NZ$7.5 billion investment

The estimated economic impact for NZ is estimated at $10.8 billion over 15 years.
The estimated economic impact for NZ is estimated at $10.8 billion over 15 years. Photo credit: Getty Images

Amazon has announced it will open a new Cloud Region in New Zealand that will see it invest around NZ$7.5 billion into the country over the next 15 years and create around 1000 jobs.

The Government has welcomed the announcement, boasting it's "another major digital investment" earned by Aotearoa's COVID-19 response.

The new AWS Asia Pacific (Auckland) Region will be the latest addition to Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of the internet shopping giant.

AWS defines a 'Region' as a physical location where data centres are clustered, with each group called an Availability Zone (AZ). The New Zealand-based Region will have three AZs each isolated and physically separate from others.

It'll have an estimated economic impact on Aotearoa's GDP of NZ$10.8 billion over the next 15 years, the company says.

"This is a step forward for New Zealand's digital maturity, as we all increasingly adjust to the increasingly digital world," says Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark.

"Amazon is the second major global tech provider to invest heavily in establishing a Cloud Region in New Zealand, bringing with it new jobs, exciting new opportunities for the digital sector, and further acceleration to our economic recovery from COVID-19.

"This investment demonstrates the high level of confidence the international business community has in backing New Zealand's economy. Our economic stability continues to create appealing investment opportunities despite the challenges facing all communities and businesses around the world."

The new Region will allow local customers with data residency preferences to securely store data in New Zealand, while providing lower latency across the country.

Other services available will include capabilities around analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, mobile services, storage, and more.

"AWS Cloud technology is providing new ways for governments to further engage with citizens, for enterprises to innovate for their next phase of growth, and for entrepreneurs to build businesses and compete on a global scale," said Adam Selipsky, CEO of AWS.

"Our investments reflect AWS's deep and long-term commitment to Aotearoa. We are excited to build new world-class infrastructure locally, train New Zealanders with in-demand digital skills, and continue to help local organisations deliver applications that accelerate digital transformation and fuel economic growth."

Amazon's announcement follows Microsoft revealing in 2020 that it is going to open a data centre in New Zealand with the value of the investment over $100 million.

At the time, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was a "hugely welcome development".

"It serves as a signal to the world that New Zealand is open for business and quality investment."

Some of New Zealand's biggest businesses and organisations already use AWS, including Air NZ, ANZ and BNZ banks, Spark and the Ministry of Health. 

Greg Foran, CEO of Air New Zealand, said the organisation has been using a wide range of AWS services since 2016.

"We have collaborated with AWS on many innovations to embed digital at the heart of everything we do, including building a secure digital booking system that easily scales to meet fluctuating demand," he said.

"Looking ahead, we need strong, resilient cloud architecture to provide customers a more personalised and innovative digital experience."

AWS Asia Pacific (Auckland) Region is planned to open in 2024.