Ceremony marks submarine cable landing point
The mythical world of Hawaiiki burst into reality last week with the ceremony marking the landing site for the Hawaiki submarine cable that will come ashore there and further improve technological contact between New Zealand, Australia and the United States.
Over 100 people attended including dignitaries representing the Government – PM John Key, Justice Minister Amy Adams, local MPs – Hawaiki, Te Uri o Hau, Northland Inc and local stakeholders.
The $US300M operation has been four years in the planning and was funded through the efforts of Frenchman Remi Galasso, NZ businessman Sir Eion Edgar and telecommunications entrepreneur Malcolm Dick, plus $65M input from the NZ Government via Research and Education Advence Networks of NZ (REANNZ) by way of an Anchor Tenancy Contract.
Hawaiiki makes landfall on a section of Bream Tail Farm after trailing a direct seabed route covering 14,000km from San Francisco.
Despite the distance, the cable will only be visible above ground for no more than three metres.
Upon reaching dry land the cable will plug into a landing station, the building of which will start early next year to be completed mid-way through 2017 with the cable-laying completion expected around mid-2018.
The cable will provide benefits to the whole of the north with broadband coverage and other digital services, overruling a number of black spots and having a positive impact on northland’s economic development through increased IT opportunities.
It will also be a conduit to better security and warning in the event of a natural disaster.
“Bream Tail Farm was selected as the prime site through suitable water depth for a cable ship and easy access to terrestrial fibre networks,” said Galasso.
In giving the project their blessing Russell Kemp, chairman of Te uri o Hau and Ngati Whatua said once local treaty claims were settled Maori would be able to participate in any economic development opportunities that the scheme promises to provide.
LANDING: Picturesque Bream Tail Farm is where the cable will hit New Zealand.
BEGINNING: Dignitaries turn the first sod after an official blessing of the site.
SPEECH: PM John Key addresses the official function.