New Zealand PM starts construction of Hawaiki Cable

23 November 2016 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


Construction has started on the Hawaiki Cable, designed to be a 42Tbps subsea link from New Zealand to the US, that will also connect Australia.

The country’s prime minister John Keys inaugurated construction of the New Zealand-funded cable earlier today at a ceremony at the planned landing station, Bream Tail.

He answered questions from Radio New Zealand about whether the country needs a further subsea connection, in addition to the existing Southern Cross network. “Firstly the digital demand is so great these days, and the use is exponentially growing,” he told the radio station. “Secondly, these cables only last 25 years, so Southern Cross is actually coming near the end, effectively, of its economic life.”

Hawaiki is planned to be in operation in June 2018, connecting Australia and New Zealand to US landing stations in Hawaii and Oregon. Hawaiki is looking at adding connections to American Samoa, New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga in the Pacific. TE SubCom is building the cable.

Amy Adams, who was also at the ceremony, said the future landing station could be a focus for data centre operations. Bream Tail is in New Zealand’s North Island, about 100km north of Auckland.

Another cable, Tasman Global Access, is due to go into operation between Australia and New Zealand in 2017. It is being laid by Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks’ Ile de Re cable ship, and will run at 20Tbps.