A conference in Melbourne, Australia considered the feasibility of a radiotelegraph link from Australia to New Zealand as a parallel system to the existing submarine communications link. A similar link from New Zealand to Fiji was envisaged.
Tenders were called for two New Zealand Government wireless stations, one at Awarua for Australia-New Zealand and one at Awanui for New Zealand-Fiji. Tenders were received from Marconi Co and Australasian Wireless Co which represented Telefunken. Telefunken was the successful tenderer. The cost of the two stations was £25,000.
The bottom of the tower was concave, and rested on a ball formed in a large iron plate which sat on the three stacks of insulators. (This plate is in the collection of the Awarua Communications Museum.) The insulators were also separated from each other by more iron plates.
The handwritten note on the back of the photo above reads:
Wireless Station Awarua. At two points up the tower heavy steel rod supporting stays were attached and led to 20 ton concrete anchor houses on the ground about 800 feet out from the base. The main aerial comprised a number of bronze wires arranged like the ribs of an umbrella running 400 feet up the tower then outwards 300 feet held by tail wires running to 20 ft poles spaced around tower. Another 60 wires running back to the tower formed the auxilliary [sic] earthing system (counterpoise).
Another account says that the stays were attached at the 150ft and 300ft levels on the tower and were iron rods, broken up by insulators, and that the anchor houses were 42 tons. It also says the height of the tower was 394ft, whereas it is commonly described as 400 or even 410ft.