REANNZ awards Hawaiki cable backhaul contracts

REANNZ has selected Vodafone and Chorus to provide fibre backhaul services to connect its backbone NREN to the Hawaiki Submarine Cable.

REANNZ has selected Vodafone and Chorus to provide fibre backhaul services to connect its backbone national research and education network to the Hawaiki Submarine Cable Landing Station, located at Mangawhai Heads in Northland. 

REANNZ, on behalf of government, has a 25-year anchor tenancy contract on the Hawaiki telecommunications cable, to link New Zealand to Australia, Hawaii and mainland United States, with options to expand to several South Pacific islands.

The backhaul contracts have been awarded following an open tender process through GETS, the Government’s electronic tender service.

REANNZ’s CEO Nicole Ferguson says, “REANNZ is very pleased to partner with suppliers Vodafone and Chorus to complete the final stages of this 14,000 km journey.   It represents a major step towards REANNZ’s members being able to take advantage of the Hawaiki Cable, expected to be ready for service in June 2018.”

International bandwidth will initially start at 40Gbps and grow to more than 4Tbps (ie 4000Gbps) over the course of the contract.

“It means New Zealand’s researchers, scientists, innovators and educators have access to high quality connectivity and capacity to source and share their work globally. It will facilitate New Zealand’s participation in key projects including the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope, as well as advanced climatic and genomic research."

“Our goal is to ensure New Zealand is not left behind by the tyranny of distance or gaps in technology.”

Vodafone and Chorus will work with REANNZ and Hawaiki to provide diverse connectivity back to the existing REANNZ network points of presence (PoPs) on the North Shore and in central Auckland.  This will ensure resilience and security of supply and protect the network from being affected by a single adverse event.

Andrew McDonald, Head of Wholesale Sales and Customer Experience at Vodafone New Zealand, says, "As anchor tenants of the Hawaiki Cable System, Vodafone and REANNZ have made an investment in a vision of empowering kiwis to continue to claim their place on the global stage. We’re tremendously excited to be partnering with the New Zealand research community as a supplier to REANNZ network." 

Nick Woodward,  Manager Product, Sales and Marketing for Chorus says, “Chorus is delighted to be a part of securing and executing this essential connectivity and looks forward to working collaboratively with REANNZ and Hawaiki. Being a relatively small country at the bottom of the world should absolutely not be an obstacle to Kiwis being at the forefront of global research and innovation. We look forward to demonstrating that REANNZ’s choice of Chorus as a backhaul provider will offer them the performance, coverage, diversity and scalability they desire for their long-term growth strategy.” 

“Partnering with the supply sector to launch our connection to the landing station takes us one step closer to further enhancing New Zealand’s connectivity capability, creating an essential piece of infrastructure, and providing much needed new capacity and diversity of supply," says Nicole Ferguson.

The government contributed $15 million to purchase an anchor tenancy on the new trans-Tasman and trans-Pacific submarine cable.   REANNZ is meeting the annual fees, worth $50 million over the 25-year period, out of operational budgets.


REANNZ (Research and Education Advanced Network NZ), originally known as KAREN, is a Crown entity.
REANNZ delivers the high-capacity, ultra high-speed backbone telecommunications network that connects New Zealand's research, education and innovation sectors regionally, nationally, as well as globally. REANNZ also develops tailored technology services to universities, polytechnics, CRIs and other independent research organisations.

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