Marine survey as Hawaiki cable build nears

A submarine cable is just talk until the ships start moving. Hawaiki expects the trans-Pacific cable will be delivered by mid–2018.

Hawaiki Submarine Cable says its marine route survey has started. The company is working with partner TE SubCom to investigate the route for a new trans-Pacific cable connecting Australia and New Zealand to the United States.

Engineers need a survey to collect geophysical and geotechnical data so the cable sits safely on the seabed.

The US$300 million project is financed in part by two New Zealanders: Malcolm Dick and Sir Eion Edgar. Dick was co-founder of CallPlus, which he sold last year to the Australian M2 group for NZ$250 million. The company has since become part of Vocus.

Hawaiki will be the second cable network connecting New Zealand to the US. At the moment the Southern Cross Cable Network is the only trans-pacific option out of the country, although thanks to its figure-of-eight design, it has two entry points here.

As well as giving Australia and New Zealand a new link to the US, Hawaiki can include brands connecting South Pacific Islands to the main line. A deal is already in place to connect American Samoa, the company expects other Pacific nations to follow.

Remi Galasso, Hawaiki CEO, says the marine survey is a significant stage in deploying the new submarine cable.

He says: “Each stage of this ground-breaking project is important, but after very carefully planning our trans-Pacific route and conducting an extensive survey of each landing site, we are extremely pleased to launch the marine route survey, which will give us data necessary to safely and properly deploy the system in the coming months”.