Hawaiki picks McKay to build Northland cable landing station

Hawaiki Cable has chosen McKay Ltd to build its cable landing station

Hawaiki Cable has chosen 81year old Northland based electrotechnology company McKay Ltd to build its cable landing station at Mangawhai Heads in Northland, signing a multimillion dollar contract with the company.

Hawaiki said McKay would be responsible for the complete civil, building, electrical, standby generation, AC and DC UPS systems, and HVAC systems.

McKay’s managing director, Lindsay Faithfull, said Hawaiki had very particular requirements and the company had come up with “a unique Northland based solution that included our local partners and met Hawaiki’s needs.”

Construction of the 14,000 kilometre cable that will link New Zealand to Australia, Hawaii and mainland United States started with a ground breaking ceremony at Bream Trail Farm in Mangawhai Heads last November. The system is scheduled to be in service by June 2018.

Hawaiki announced in May that 90 percent of the 14,000km of cable required for the system had been completed, along with 150 repeaters.

When it announced the contract with McKay, Hawaiki said the cable would have options to expand to several South Pacific islands. It has been promoting these since launch of the project and early route maps showed dotted links to Samoa and American Samoa, Wallis, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Norfolk Island. However the current map on its web site shows a link to American Samoa only.

Norfolk Island is very close Hawaiki’s route and the island’s community, backed by One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson, has urged the Federal Government to fund a link to the island, but to no avail. The government, it seems is unwilling to stump up the $A1m to provide a branching unit that would enable connection at a later date.

TriWorlds Pty Ltd, a Norfolk Island company lobbying for the extension, said in November “Australia has recently provided $US1.5m to Samoa for a similar cable connection. A cable branching unit to Norfolk Island could be secured for less than $A1m as insurance to ‘future proof’ the island by allowing it the chance to connect later.”

It added that Hawaiki Cable had given a final deadline of 15th December 2016 for Australia to commit to a Norfolk Island connection.

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