Yahoo!Xtra was a New Zealand web portal that existed under that name from 2007 to 2011. It was a joint venture between Yahoo!7 and Telecom New Zealand (now Spark). Yahoo!7 held a 51 percent stake in the company and Telecom NZ held 49 percent. Because Yahoo!7 is a 50/50 venture, Yahoo! proper was therefore a 25.5% owner of Yahoo!Xtra. Telecom announced in April 2011 that it had sold its share to Yahoo!7 and Yahoo!Xtra was rebranded as Yahoo! New Zealand.[1][2]

Joint venture
FoundedDecember 2006
HeadquartersAuckland, New Zealand
Area served
Yahoo!7 and Telecom New Zealand
Productsweb portal 
ServicesInternet portal
OwnerSpark New Zealand 
Number of employees
30+ in Auckland
10 in Sydney
WebsiteYahoo!Xtra Company Info
Type of site
Internet portal
OwnerTelecom New Zealand and Yahoo!7
LaunchedMarch 2007


Telecom launched internet service provider Xtra in 1996, which is New Zealand's largest ISP (as of 2008). In 2001 Telecom partnered with MSN to create the web portal XtraMSN, which by 2006 was receiving over 100 million total page impressions per month. Visitor numbers to XtraMSN grew by 45 percent in its last two years and the website attracted more than 3 million unique browsers per month.[3]

Move to Yahoo

In December 2006, Telecom made a new agreement, founding a joint venture with Australia's Yahoo!7 – itself a joint company between the Seven Network and Yahoo! – to form Yahoo!Xtra. The six-year-old Telecom and Microsoft portal ended on 1 March 2007, with the users invited to go to either or

Telecom reportedly left the content management of the portal to Yahoo!, who operate an Auckland-based office consisting of Sales, Marketing, Ad Operations, Production and Finance Departments. The Editorial team manages local news, sport and entertainment content.[4][5]

When Telecom sold out in 2011, Yahoo!Xtra staff transferred to Yahoo! New Zealand. Telecom noted that Yahoo!7 would continue to support Telecom’s broadband customers.[1][2]

Yahoo! continued to provide Telecom's email service, which came under criticism in early 2013 following a spam and phishing attack described as the biggest to have ever hit New Zealand.[6] Telecom automatically reset thousands of users' passwords.[7] In April, Telecom announced that despite the issue, it would keep Yahoo! on as an email provider.[8]

Move of Xtra Mail from Yahoo! to

Between September 2016 and April 2017 Spark New Zealand migrated Xtra Mail from Yahoo! to[9] Spark partnered with New Zealand email provider SMX.[9]


The Yahoo!Xtra's board of directors is chaired by the Yahoo!7 CEO, Rohan Lund, and consisted of the following members:

  • Alan Gourdie, Telecom, CEO Telecom Retail
  • Ralph Brayham, Telecom, Director, Telecom Home
  • Rod Snodgrass, Telecom, GM, Group Strategy
  • Greg Brown, Yahoo!7, CFO
  • David Gowdey, Yahoo!, Director Corporate Development

In April 2007, Kevin Bowler was appointed as the Auckland-based CEO of Yahoo!Xtra, but departed the business in early 2010.


Yahoo!Xtra's 'X meets Y' promotion at launch featured a television commercial with Regina Spektor's song "Fidelity" playing whilst a young couple undertake in a lingering kiss. This helped throw the anti-folk star under the spotlight in the New Zealand music scene, "Fidelity" becoming a hit single and one of Spektor's most successful tracks.[10]

Notes and references

  1. "Telecom sells stake in Yahoo!Xtra". Computerworld. 15 April 2011. Archived from the original on 29 March 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2011.
  2. "Telecom and Yahoo!7 confirm change of partnership". Scoop. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2011.
  3. "Yahoo!Xtra launches in New Zealand". Scoop. 28 February 2007. Retrieved 9 October 2011.
  4. Griffin, Peter (22 February 2007). "Yahoo, now what about the Xtras?". The New Zealand Herald.
  5. Keown, Jenny (31 January 2007). "Xtra responsibility for partner signals change of path for Telecom". The New Zealand Herald.
  6. "Telecom rush to fix hack". 3 News NZ. February 11, 2013.
  7. "Telecom defends email reset operation". 3 News NZ. February 18, 2013.
  8. "Telecom sticks with Yahoo email". 3 News NZ. April 5, 2013.
  9. The new Xtra Mail is live, retrieved 31 October 2017
  10. Yahoo!Xtra Music
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