Govt welcomes $7.5bn investment – from the private sector – in our digital economy, but ministers are busy spending, too

The government has been spending money on ridding parts of the country of predators, cleaning up contaminated sites, helping NCEA students and researching cancer.

But ministers of the crown – it’s pleasing to note – are acknowledging big-bucks investments from the private sector, too.

Digital Economy and Communications Minister today welcomed the decision by Amazon’s cloud-computing arm, Amazon Web Services’ (AWS), to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital sector and providing a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery.

The investment is estimated to be around $7.5 billion, which “demonstrates the high level of confidence the international business community has in backing New Zealand’s economy,” Clark enthused.

We learned more about this project from Stuff, which reports that AWS will spend $7.5 billion over 15 years building “world class computing infrastructure” in Auckland .

Amazon Web Services New Zealand country manager Tim Dacombe-Bird said New Zealand would join 25 other territories in which the company had established cloud computing data centres.

The company would build “a cluster” of at least three data centres in the city, he said.

AWS estimated the investment would create 1000 jobs and contribute $10.8b to New Zealand’s GDP over the next 15 years.

Back in the capital, Clark’s ministerial colleagues have been busy spending state-sector money, which is the stuff they collect from taxpayers or borrow, according to our latest monitoring of The Beehive website.

  • The figure of $5 million is mentioned in a press statement from Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods when she announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the advancement of “exciting new innovations in other areas of healthcare”.  She was speaking at the launch of BioOra, a new company that aims to scale up the manufacture of something called CAR T-cell cancer therapy.  BioOra is a result of a partnership between Malaghan Institute and Bridgewest Ventures NZ, with the support from the Technology Incubator Programme “and a $5 million investment towards CAR T-cell research from MBIE’s Partnerships Scheme”.
  • Having so far invested $4.5 million through its Jobs for Nature programme to expand a predator-free apprenticeship programme, the government is to pump a further $2.35 million into the scheme. This is intended to enable another 25 people to receive on-the-job and formal training.  The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme aims to increase the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme.   Forty-eight apprentices have been placed with host organisations around the country since the scheme started late last year.
  • More modest sums are being spent through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund to support the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to turn previously hazardous sites into safe, usable public areas.  Northland Regional Council and the Department of Conservation will receive $150,950 to investigate the contamination of the Puhipuhi Mercury Mine site in Northland, north of Whangarei; the Otago Regional Council has received $200,000 to complete a feasibility assessment and develop a remedial action plan for the tar well area of the former Gasworks site in South Dunedin; and the Southland Regional Council and the Department of Conservation have been granted $35,000 to complete an investigation of the landfill at the Little Tahiti site in Fiordland.

In the case of the clean-up of contaminated sites, let’s note, the grants are not actually being pitched at immediate clean-ups.  Rather, they are being devoted to investigations to establish (we presume) what must be done to clean up contaminated sites and how much it is likely to cost.

We further note that no money was mentioned in a statement announcing an increase in the number of Learning Recognition Credits for senior secondary school students in  Auckland students. The increase recognises the extended time these students will spend in Alert Levels 3 and 4.

Nor were the restructuring costs mentioned by Health Minister Andrew Little when he announced the people appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand.

One lot of appointees will be involved in Health New Zealand’s job of merging the country’s 20 DHBs, a workforce of about 80,000, an annual operating budget of $20 billion and an asset base of about $24 billion.

The Māori Health Authority will work alongside Health New Zealand with a joint role in developing system plans, commissioning for primary and community services, and will commission kaupapa Māori services. The Māori Health Authority will also work alongside the Ministry of Health to develop strategies and policies that work for Māori.

Latest from the Beehive

NZ COVID-19 response earns another major digital investment

Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Amazon’s Web Services’ (AWS) decision to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital

New Zealand invests in cutting edge cancer R&D

Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the advancement of exciting new innovations in other areas of healthcare, at the launch of BioOra, a new company that aims to scale up the manufacture of CAR T-cell cancer therapy in New Zealand.

Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system

An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says.

Funding to help clean up contaminated sites

The Government is supporting the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to reduce risk to people’s health and protect the environment.

Predator Free apprenticeships open up new job opportunities

The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.

Further NCEA support confirmed for Auckland students

The number of Learning Recognition Credits for senior secondary school students will be increased for Auckland students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today.

One thought on “Govt welcomes $7.5bn investment – from the private sector – in our digital economy, but ministers are busy spending, too

  1. Well I DO NOT WANT TO FUND ANY SCREEN INDUSTRY AS AN AUCKLAND RATEPAYER the profits go offshore that is just not fair we are saddled with enough garbage with this dumbo govt in control

    Like

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