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AWS invests NZ$7.5 billion in Aotearoa with new data centre region in Auckland

By Nick Forrester, Thu 23 Sep 2021

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has committed to opening a data centre region in Aotearoa, investing NZ$7.5 billion into a project that it says will create 1,000 new jobs.

Based in Auckland, the new AWS Asia Pacific region will be owned and operated by a ‘local AWS entity in New Zealand. AWS’s investment will help organisations, developers and the public sector to run applications using data centres based within the country. 

The company estimates that, over the next 15 years, the new infrastructure region will add over $10 billion to Aotearoa’s GDP. The $7.5 billion investment will cover the construction and fitting out of the data centres and salaries.

“AWS supports thousands of organisations across New Zealand in their drive to innovate, succeed, and grow globally,” says AWS chief executive officer Adam Selipsky.

AWS Cloud technology is providing new ways for government 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.”

Selipsky says the move reflects a ‘deep and long-term’ commitment to investing in New Zealand.

“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.”

Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications David Clark says Amazon’s investment provides ‘a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery’.

“Our economic stability continues to create appealing investment opportunities despite the challenges facing all communities and businesses around the world,” Clark said in a statement.

"This will create job opportunities for industries like our construction sector, and bring long term benefits as we see the ICT sector and local innovators significantly grow into the future.  

“We may be a small, island nation a long way from traditional markets, but the borderless digital world continues to present us with new innovative economic opportunities.”

The new data centre region will allow for lower latency across the country and enable local customers with data residency preferences to securely store data in Aotearoa. This, AWS says, will lead to economic benefits like new employment and sales for the data centre supply chain and related sectors.

Many of Aotearoa’s largest companies leverage AWS to run their applications and workloads, including ANZ, Air New Zealand, TVNZ, Xero and Te Tāhū o te Ture Ministry of Justice. Executives from these companies welcomed the news upon its announcement.

“Air New Zealand strives to connect New Zealanders to each other and New Zealand to the world, and we aim to be the world’s leading digital airline by providing a seamless digital experience from the moment customers start planning their trip until after they return home,” says Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran.

“The new AWS infrastructure will help us deliver on our vision, provide customers even faster access to all our services, and underpin our delivery of a best-in-class digital experience to Kiwis for many years to come.”

ANZ CIO for New Zealand and Pacific Michael Bullock says he’s delighted to see AWS’ investment in New Zealand.

“This investment demonstrates AWS’s continuing commitment to its customers and to the New Zealand economy as a whole, while providing access to world-class cloud computing infrastructure that will meet our customers’ data sovereignty preferences and desire for innovation,” says Bullock.

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