Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2019 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

About that KBE you ordered

24 September 2021

Hands up all those who remember the turn of the century?

It's amazing how fast time flies when you're having fun because that was over 20 years ago now. Those two decades seem to have passed in almost the blink of an eye.

Well if you were around back in late 1999 and the early 2000s, you'll remember catchy bits of terminology like "the knowledge wave" and "knowledge-based economy" (KBE).

The government of the day (I forget which way it leaned) promised us that New Zealand would "ride the knowledge wave" and that by creating a powerful "knowledge-based economy" we would overcome the tyrany of distance that worked against us in so many of the export markets we serviced.

Computers, the internet, software and the mass of bright minds that was NZ's IT sector would come together to put us out there at the front of the world, boxing well above our weight from this tiny island paradise.

I guess that "government of the day" was pretty good on talking the talk but when it came to walking the walk, well they were not quite up to the task.

I guess their internet skills were simply not up to the task either. It's looking a lot like they selected the slowest shipping option on the list when they placed their online order for our KBE, back in 2000.

However, despite the obviously circuitous route and delays involved, yesterday we got some very good news:

The knowledge-based economy we ordered all those years ago -- has finally arrived!

Amazon announced that it will be pouring billions of dollars into NZ in order to create an instance of its AWS cloud service here.

Yes, finally, after all that waiting, we are on the map and IT will be (allegedly) making a pretty significant contribution to the nation's economy.

We are now truly to become "the land of the long white (AWS) cloud"!

It is interesting to ponder the reasons why Amazon would go to all the expense of setting up such an expensive operation here in Godzone because surely our own demand for AWS is not enough to justify the significant amount of money involved.

Is it that we have some kind of strategic position, thanks to the growing levels of connectivity we have with the rest of the world?

We have cables to Australia and the USA so perhaps our big drawcard is that we might provide a measure of redundancy if Australia's own cables get cut.

Right now, Australia has a link to the USA through the Hawaiki cable and that cable also serves New Zealand. However, if that were to fail at any time, NZ's Southern Cross cable could pick up the load and relay traffic between Oz and the USA via the Tasman Global Access cable.

Given the entirety of NZ's data needs are likely to be little more than those of greater Sydney, I think it's a safe bet that we're more of a backup for our cobbers across the ditch than a key market ourselves.

Whatever the reasons and justifications for this big spend it's got to be good news for all concerned.

Perhaps the most interesting thing I'll be watching is exactly how Amazon's tax obligations are structured here in New Zealand.

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column

Rank This Aardvark Page


Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines



The EZ Battery Reconditioning scam

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam


Recent Columns

New hi-tech weapons
Everybody enjoys a good explosion now and then, so long as nobody's standing too close when it happens...

I had fun
My days are built on routine...

The vexing issue of tourism
Covid 19 is here to stay and even NZ has moved from a strategy of elimination to one of attempted management...

A lifetime of change
In less than two years time, I will start my eighth decade on the planet...

A resource for entrepreneurs?
Last week a new resource for entrepreneurs was opened right here in Tokoroa...

Feel the burn from 5G
5G communications is the future, or so we're told...

EVs for the win!
When Tesla first brought out its Lotus Elise-based Roadster EV back in 2008 I have to admit that I was openly skeptical...

Is KiwiCoin coming?
Apparently the Reseve Bank is thinking of launching a digital currency that will be one to one linked to the NZ dollar...

Best Monday morning ever!
When, yesterday morning at about 4:30am, I went to check and make sure...

Why Appliance Plus (now) sucks
Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool...

Now I am getting worried (a little)
The world is going to hell in a handbasket...