Google’s $16.5 billion impact in Aotearoa: Supporting New Zealand’s digital future

Today, I’m proud to launch Google’s 2022 Economic Impact Report

The report by Access Partnership investigates how digital technologies can help New Zealand tackle two critical national challenges: the growing digital skills gap and the increasing risk of natural disasters. By addressing these we can build our resilience and gain up to $18 billion in 2030*.

The report also looks at the ways Google is supporting New Zealand households and businesses into the digital future — to the tune of $16.5 billion worth of economic benefits in 2022.

Using digital technologies to solve critical national challenges 

The research by Access Partnership looked at two critical challenges: the digital skills shortages in our labour market, and the risk of natural disasters exacerbated by climate change. 

It found that:

  • Better using digital technologies to solve critical challenges can help New Zealand gain up to $18.2 billion in 2030. This includes:

  1. Improving New Zealand’s digital competitiveness could unlock $8.4 billion of additional  Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2030 through improved labour productivity. For example:

    • By streamlining the job search process through online job portals, upskilling workers through online digital skills training, and applying artificial intelligence (AI) on resume optimisation or insights on industry hiring and salary trends.

  2. Helping New Zealand manage the impacts of natural disasters could eliminate $9.8 billion in property damage in 2030. This includes:

    • Three key technologies include remote sensing, geospatial data analytics and satellite communication which can ensure better disaster preparedness and quicker response efforts.

Google is helping New Zealand’s resilience through community engagement, funding and partnerships. To provide digital skills and knowledge to New Zealand’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Google has played an active role in the MBIE’s ‘Digital Boost Alliance,’ including the development of a free tool Checkable, which is built on Google Cloud, and helps SMEs understand and improve their digital presence. 

Google’s economic impact in New Zealand

Google has been on the ground in New Zealand for over 15 years and has a team in both Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and Pōneke Wellington across Cloud, Engineering, Education and Client Partnerships. 

Our digital tools like Google Ads and YouTube help support an additional 39,600 local jobs in 2022. For example, app developers use Google Play to generate revenue that supports a wide range of jobs including engineers, graphic designers and marketers. And over one in four New Zealand YouTube users say they use the platform to learn advanced digital skills, like software programming, AI and website development.

Through products and services including Google Search, Ads, AdSense, Play, YouTube, and Cloud, New Zealand businesses gained $10.9 billion worth of economic value in 2022. Of this value, over half (52%) went to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) - a total $5.7 billion. These products help businesses expand and grow revenue in domestic and international markets, and work more efficiently while strengthening resilience against economic shocks. In addition, Kiwi employees using Google Workspace each gain 18 days of time savings annually. This includes time saved by accessing, storing and sharing online documents for work, and from reduced meetings and more efficient collaborations. 

This includes the University of Canterbury which was struggling to attract international students when borders reopened post-pandemic. The Faculty of Science adopted a test and learn approach, and rolled out a full-funnel digital ads strategy across 40 countries, in the hope of generating enquiries, and ultimately applications, from international students. The campaign resulted in 58,000 new enquiries — a 10x return on export investment from their spend on Google Ads.

Many New Zealand businesses choose to partner with Google Cloud to support their digital transformation journey, providing them with an easy-to-use and always-on service that keeps them running smoothly and maximises efficiency and productivity. We recently announced plans to bring a Google Cloud region to Aotearoa, with an AccessPartnership study** finding:

  • $4.2 billion in productivity benefits will be generated via the new Google Cloud region between 2025 and 2030; 

  • 9,700 equivalent full-time jobs like cloud engineers and data scientists will be created through the Google Cloud region in 2030 alone;  and

  • 78% improvement in energy efficiency*** could be achieved through the migration of on-premise data centres to cloud, enabling organisations to reduce energy consumption and associated emissions.

The Google Cloud region’s reliable, low-latency connectivity, as well as the highest security and compliance standards will help advance areas like New Zealand’s healthcare systems and scientific research through scalable, on-demand access to solutions.

Helping Kiwis save time and access important information

Many of our helpful products have become an important part of the everyday lives of millions of Kiwis. Through the use of Google's products, which include Google Search, Maps, Play, YouTube, Drive, Photos, Slides, Docs, and Sheets, in 2022, New Zealand households enjoy $5.6 billion worth of economic benefits — which represents the average New Zealand Internet user receiving $1,167 of value annually as a result of easier access to information, increased productivity and a variety of entertainment and enrichment benefits.

Digital technologies have played a vital role in supporting New Zealand’s resilience through the environment, economic shocks and other emerging challenges. This report shows us they will be critical to helping us better predict and respond to future challenges — and in achieving our potential. Google is committed to working alongside people, businesses and community to create a strong and inclusive digital future for all New Zealanders.

You can read more about the findings here.

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The labour productivity gains from digital skilling are measured in value-added terms, while the property damages avoided from natural disasters are measured in terms of cost savings.

**Access Partnership (2022), “Lifting Productivity: Google Cloud Regions”. Available at:

***Note: This finding refers to benefits from cloud-based solutions in general, and is not specific to Google Cloud.