Microsoft says it plans to build a New Zealand data centre region. It says this will be a step towards delivering “enterprise grade cloud services in the country”.

If it goes ahead, it will mean local access for services such as Azure, Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365. Before that can happen, the plan needs approval from the Overseas Investment Office.

A local Microsoft cloud data centre should satisfy the data sovereignty, security and compliance needs of government and other public sector organisations. Some government agencies have run into problems using overseas Microsoft data centres which must abide by laws that don’t align with local accepted practice.

Spark CEO Jolie Hodson confirmed that her company will partner with Microsoft to realise these plans.

Microsoft says its plans include support for education programmes to give next generation workers the skills they will need. This includes a public-private collaboration with Massey University that aims to provide skilled staff for primary industry companies.

There are already 58 Microsoft cloud regions and the company’s Azure services are available in more than 140 countries, in effect, everywhere.