6 May 2020

Microsoft seeks new datacenter region in New Zealand

4:10 pm on 6 May 2020

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she welcomes Microsoft's announcement to establish a datacentre region for cloud services in New Zealand.

People walk past a Microsoft store entrance with the company's logo on top in midtown Manhattan at the 5th avenue in New York City, US.

Photo: AFP

The global tech giant announced today that it would establish its first datacentre region in New Zealand.

In a statement, Microsoft said the New Zealand datacenter region will be the latest addition to its global datacentre footprint. It has 60 datacentre regions worldwide with its Microsoft Azure cloud service available in 140 plus countries.

"With the development of this new datacenter region, Microsoft aims to fuel new growth that will accelerate digital transformation opportunities across New Zealand," the statement said.

Microsoft is already used by a number of large scale corporations in New Zealand, including the country's largest - Fonterra - as well as telecommunications company Spark, for their digital cloud and security services.

The company said it will also continue its investments in new solutions that support both New Zealand and Microsoft's sustainability goals. It will also add support for educational skilling programs to increase future employability opportunities for the people of New Zealand, the company said.

In a statement this afternoon, Digital Services minister Kris Faafoi said the government's quick and decisive action responding to Covid-19 is being recognised globally.

"This means job opportunities in the near term for our construction industry and, in the longer term, for our ICT industry and local innovators. This also serves as a signal to the world that New Zealand is open for business and quality investment," he said.

"Today's decision by Microsoft means that the government, and New Zealand businesses and people, will be able to access the scale and security of Cloud services offered by a major global provider in ways we haven't been able to before."

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In this afternoon's Covid-19 briefing, Ardern said it was a welcomed development and signals to the world that "New Zealand is open for business and quality investment".

She said it will be subject to usual regulatory process but shows "safe haven" advantage.

"International companies like Microsoft wouldn't be investing here ... if they didn't have full confidence in the NZ economy."

Microsoft's plan is subject to approval from the Overseas Investment Office.

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