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AWS to spend $7.5 billion in NZ over next 15 years

Peter Griffin, Editor. 23 September 2021, 11:48 am

Cloud computing giant Amazon Web Services plans to spend $7.5 billion in New Zealand over the next 15 years kicking off with a local data centre presence in 2024.

The move will create 1,000 jobs and add $10.8 billion to New Zealand's gross domestic product over the next decade and a half, according to AWS, which is the largest global cloud computing provider by market share.

The commitment to building out three "availability zones" in the Auckland regio follows Microsoft's announcement last year of a new Azure region for New Zealand, consisting of data centres in Auckland and an investment of at least $100 million.

Screenshot 2021-09-23 at 11.38.46 AM.png

Set to grow - the AWS footprint in New Zealand

The availability zones will essentially be geographically separate data centres, giving customers the opportunity to boost business continuity plans by having access to multiple data centres, a useful provision in a country prone to natural hazards.

"This is AWS's largest investment in NZ to date," AWS New Zealand country manager Tim Dacombe-Bird told a media conference today.

"It will unleash further innovation, drive greater productivity, increase our skilled workforce, and truly position New Zealand at the forefront of digital commerce for generations of Kiwis to come."

AWS didn't break down exactly how the $7.5 billion over 15 years will be spent, but it will include capital and operational outlay. It also outlined initiatives such as free training programmes it will offer to boost uptake of its cloud-based services.

A local AWS presence will also appeal to customers, particularly those in the public sector hosting sensitive data, who have data sovereignty requirements and would prefer to keep data held within New Zealand's borders.

The presence of AWS could also come with performance improvements in the form of lower latency and more efficient routing as traffic that used to go to AWS data centres in Australia will now be hosted locally.

"The AWS region here will enable customers from startups to enterprises, as well as government, education and non-profits organisations to run applications and securely store data from data centres located right here on NZ soil," Dacombe-Bird said.

The move comes as the investors behind the Hawaiki undersea data cable between New Zealand and the US prepare their plans for Datagrid, a hyperscale data centre for Southland that would run on renewable energy and take advantage of the cool local climate to lower power consumption costs.

AWS has a wide range of big corporate clients in New Zealand, including Xero, Vodafone, Orion Health, Contact Energy, Bank of New Zealand and several public agencies.


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Graham Manning 27 September 2021, 1:31 pm

In fairness, AWS and MS aren't bringing money to NZ. They're bringing it to Auckland, an already over-populated and over-developed area of the country.

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