Amazon is advertising 13 positions in New Zealand: 11 in Auckland and two in Wellington.

But don't get too excited about the multinational giant setting up shop in New Zealand with a warehouse to drive a local online shopping operation.

All of the roles are for Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company's web hosting and cloud computing services division.

AWS already has a number of New Zealand clients who access its nearest server farm, in Sydney. They include Westpac, Dominio's, Spark's Lightbox streaming video service and various government departments.

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Judging by its job ads, it's after some more.

AWS's local operation is headed by Wellingtonian Tim Dacombe-Bird (who did not immediately return a request for comment).

His current crew includes partner development manager Brett Colbert - best-known for his lengthy stint as an executive at Microsoft NZ (another senior Microsoft NZ manager, Angus Norton, is now also with Amazon as a general manager - albeit up in Seattle).

And also technical account manager Stu Fox, who posted to social media: "We're hiring (again) at AWS in New Zealand. Heaps of jobs open, get amongst it!"

Although notable by Kiwi standards, Amazon's local hiring is small beans compared to the US, where it's on a drive to hire 50,000 people who will be spread across New York and Northern Virginia, who were the joint winners in the corporate welfare tussle to host the company's second headquarters.

Amazon launched its e-tail operation in Australia last Christmas, sparking speculation by Forsyth Barr that it would setup online shopping and warehouses on this side of the Tasman, too (though there was also a counter-argument from tech commentator Ben Kepes that NZ is just too small for an Amazon direct presence, given the company's focus on high-volume sales and doing everything on a huge scale).

Record-breaker

Amazon's Australian presence has, so far at least, been more low-key than most commentators had anticipated.

But worldwide, Amazon reported a record-breaking holiday season as shoppers loaded their online baskets with items from Echo speakers to Calvin Klein clothes, suggesting consumer optimism isn't being deterred by tumbling stock markets.

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The internet retailer said "tens of millions of people worldwide" signed up for its Prime service, which offers free two-day shipping on millions of items as well as video and music streaming (only the music and video stream elements are available to Kiwis).

In the US alone, more than 1 billion items were shipped for free using Prime, Amazon said in a statement Wednesday.

Amazon briefly hit a US$1 trillion ($1.5t) market valuation earlier this year, but it has pulled back to US$719m with the recent market dip.

That's still enough to maintain founder Jeff Bezos' position as the world's richest person, however, with a wealth of US$122b.