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Microsoft expands its investment in New Zealand

04 Apr 2023 5:29 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

Microsoft has received Overseas Investment Office (OIO) consent to purchase additional land, enabling it to expand its cloud infrastructure in New Zealand.

As recognised by the OIO, this investment will benefit Aotearoa by introducing additional capital into the country, creating approximately 50 new full time equivalent (FTE) jobs once the datacenter on this site is operational, plus 300 temporary FTE jobs during construction of the datacenter.

This development is a recognition of the long-term opportunity we see in Aotearoa, and a sign of commitment from Microsoft to continue to assist in powering the country’s digitalisation journey. New Zealand’s economy proves to be resilient despite global macroeconomic challenges and its growth potential, underpinned by strong democratic foundations and the rule of law, creates a favourable business environment. This additional investment aims to meet anticipated customer demand for our cloud services in the future.

We already see strong uptake of cloud computing in New Zealand and high interest in the next generation of artificial intelligence-powered technologies. According to a recent IDC White Paper, commissioned by Microsoft, Public Cloud Services Opportunities and Dividends to the Australian and New Zealand Economies*, public cloud adoption generated $23.9 billion in new revenues for New Zealand businesses in 2022 – around six per cent of GDP. By 2026, cloud delivery is expected to add $21 billion to the economy above this level and generate 134,000 new jobs as a result of new capabilities and growth.”

Following the initial disclosure in 2020, announcing Microsoft’s intention to construct a datacenter region in New Zealand, Fonterra, the Accident Compensation Corporation, BNZ and Auckland Transport have decided to move to Microsoft Cloud. We’re also working alongside partners such as TupuToa, Rea, PwC and DXC to equip students, jobseekers, and workers with digital skills to ensure Aotearoa thrives in a digital future. We announced a micro-credential programme alongside national vocational training provider, Te Pūkenga, and TupuToa, aimed at filling the need for skilled cybersecurity experts, while boosting diversity. Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand has already committed to welcoming paid apprentices as part of the programme.

We also have sustainability firmly in mind as we build our hyper-scale cloud. With around 80 per cent of NZ’s electricity currently generated from renewable sources, we are well-placed to make New Zealand’s datacenter region one of the most sustainable on the planet. Microsoft has an ongoing commitment to supporting organisations on their decarbonisation journey through platforms such as Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability, but that starts with ensuring our own cloud is net carbon neutral. One of our global sustainability commitments is to execute power purchase agreements equivalent to 100% of our energy needs by 2025. Last year, we signed an agreement with sustainable electricity retailer, Ecotricity, to ensure our datacenter region is powered by 100 per cent carbon free energy. Microsoft will only be using Toitū net carbonzero certified electricity sourced from solar, wind and hydro.

We look forward to continuing to empower every New Zealand organisation and all New Zealanders to achieve more.

Maciej Surowiec, Government Affairs Lead New Zealand, Corporate, External & Legal Affairs (CELA)

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