Subject to approval by New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office, the company plans to spend NZD$7.5 billion (AU$7.3 billion) to develop three Availability Zones (AZ) in the Auckland region.
The three locations are geographically isolated, to reduce the risk of natural disasters or other events impacting business continuity, “yet near enough to provide low latency for high availability applications”. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling and physical security.
The first AWS office in New Zealand opened in 2013. It already operates a pair of Amazon CloudFront edge locations in Auckland, serving thousands of customers, including some of the country's biggest organisations – including airlines, universities, and government agencies.
It expanded its New Zealand operations in 2021, building on existing training and venture capital partnerships, and opened new offices in Auckland and Wellington.
The company currently employs around 100 people but has released an economic impact study (EIS) that estimates the three data centres will create 1,000 new jobs.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the investment as "exciting!".
"It means jobs and growth in the sector, but it is also an incredibly exciting development that recognises we’re a great place to do business," she said in a Facebook post.
Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark claimed the announcement was an endorsement of New Zealand’s Covid response, and "demonstrates the high level of confidence the international business community has in backing New Zealand’s economy.”
Currently Amazon's online shopping operation is only available to New Zealanders through Australia.