25 May 2017
New Funding for Antarctic Presence and Science
Antarctica New Zealand welcomes the Government’s Antarctic initiatives in Budget 2017 to maintain New Zealand’s ongoing
presence and scientific research programme in Antarctica.
Antarctic science drives our presence in Antarctica and underpins New Zealand’s strategic interests in the region. The
announcement of a Strategic Science Investment Fund platform dedicated to Antarctic science provides assurance that New
Zealand will remain at the forefront of Antarctic science, delivering highly credible Antarctic and Southern Ocean
research on an ongoing basis.
Antarctica New Zealand shares logistics on a bilateral basis with the US Antarctic Program, the Italian Antarctic
Programme and the Korean Antarctic Programme. This allows New Zealand to conduct an extensive annual programme of
Antarctic research which would cost significantly more if it had to operate alone. Funding of $3.5 million over four
years towards office and operational accommodation in Christchurch for these National Antarctic Programmes will support
their continued economic commitment to New Zealand’s Antarctic Gateway city and enhance their collaborative logistics
and science arrangements with Antarctica New Zealand.
New Zealand’s core facility in Antarctica, Scott Base, is reaching the end of its functional life and needs to be
modernised and upgraded in order to maintain appropriate standards, and reduce risks. Funding of $6.1 million over two
years will allow the preparation of a detailed business case that includes a robust building design, budget and project
implementation plan to redevelop a fit for purpose Scott Base facility. The new dedicated funding for Antarctic science
underpins the value of any future investment to redevelop Scott Base.
Science is a central theme of the Antarctic Treaty. Antarctica New Zealand’s Chief Executive and Chief Science Advisor
are currently in Beijing as members of New Zealand’s delegation to the annual meeting of Antarctic Treaty parties.