Online retail giant Amazon is targeting its Kiwi customers, launching some of its products in New Zealand next month.

Amazon's smart speaker The Echo will be on sale in New Zealand in February with the company also launching its on-demand music streaming service, Amazon Music Unlimited.

The Echo, powered by the digital assistant Alexa, is a voice activated, connected speaker which can play music, tell you the weather, turn on your lights at home and add items to a shopping list.

Amazon has revealed it is tailoring the speakers to its Kiwi market with specific skills added to its regular functions, including learning New Zealand sports teams, giving news from local media organisations, and even speaking a bit of Te Reo Maori.


"Tens of millions of customers are already using Alexa, and today we're excited to bring her to New Zealand with a localised experience designed especially for our customers," said Dave Limp, senior vice president, Amazon devices and services.

"The combination of Alexa and Echo provides customers with hands-free access to music, weather, news, information, and more—just ask."

Limp said Alexa could create to-do and shopping lists, which it could then remind users about. It was also capable of learning, and could answer questions and send messages or make calls when connected.

The Echo would be sold at Noel Leeming and JB Hi-Fi, and came in three versions.

The Echo ($179) which was the standard unit, the Dot ($89) which had all the smarts but no speaker and was designed to be connected to one.

The Echo Plus ($269) was the taller version, which included a better speaker and technology that made it easier to set up a smart home.

The Amazon Echo Plus speaker. Photo/Amazon
The Amazon Echo Plus speaker. Photo/Amazon

Limp said it had taken a lot of work to tailor Alexa for Kiwis.

The finished product can let you know the cricket score, whether your Air New Zealand flight is on time, and can even throw in a few Kiwi jokes.


Amazon launched in Australia last month after much anticipation.